• Aug 20th 2010 at 4:55PM
  • 21
State Farm On The Move Android App – Click above to view the video after the jump

Android geeks have been using a combination of GPS and the Tasker app to let contacts know when they can't (or won't) accept text messages or calls (driving, in a movie, etc.). It's some slick software, but the barrier of entry is a little high for the average smartphone user. So to make things more accessible – and reduce a few claims in the process – auto insurer State Farm has released its own Android application that automatically responds to text messages while on the move.

The combination app/widget provides canned responses or allows users to write a custom message that's sent anytime they enable the app. Just activate the app and when a text comes in, the program automatically responds so you can keep yours eyes on the road and your hands off the phone.

The app is a free download from Android Market, but for the time being, it's only available on Google-powered smartphones, with the possibility of iPhone, Blackberry and Windows Mobile versions on the horizon. Hit the jump for the full details and a video of the app in action.

[Source: State Farm]

Show full PR text
State Farm® Launches Insurance Industry's First Free Mobile Tool to Combat Distracted Driving

'On the Move' Android Widget Lets Texters Know You're Driving Or Busy; Handles Replies For You So You Don't Have To

BLOOMINGTON, Ill., Aug. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- On Monday, August 23rd, State Farm Insurance Company will release the insurance industry's first Android widget aimed at combating the problem of distracted driving. The new "On the Move" widget allows Android smartphone users to compose and preload customized messages that can be sent as automated responses to incoming text messages. With the service, instead of reading and responding to text messages while driving or otherwise occupied, smartphone users can activate the service and let the widget respond for them. The service is free to anyone with an Android smartphone as part of State Farm's updated Pocket Agent® for Android(TM) application.

"It is our hope that this widget will prevent crashes and save lives," said Laurette Stiles, Strategic Resources vice president at State Farm. "This new service will help drivers manage the temptation to read or respond to text messages when they are behind the wheel. We wanted to make this widget available free-of-charge as just one of the ways we're working to keep our roadways safe for drivers."

The National Safety Council estimates that 200,000 crashes each year are caused by drivers who are texting. State Farm is a leader in research and programs aimed at preventing distracted driving and other forms of dangerous driving.

Customized responses

With the service, Android owners can create their own responses and save them to a library for future use. The service works with all incoming texts, or can be limited to senders listed in the user's smartphone address book. Activating the service prior to driving is just one way to use the widget. Smartphone users also can use the service while in class, at the gym or in a movie.

"On the Move" users simply activate the auto-response function by turning on the widget and composing or selecting auto-response messages. Incoming text messages are still received and can be accessed in the user's inbox at any time.

"On the Move" joins an array of other automated text-response applications available to manage how people respond to text messages when they are otherwise occupied. This is the first offered from an insurance company, and it is free.

Employee-driven Innovation

"On the Move" is the newest product from State Farm's Employee Innovation Challenge, a program that sourced input and ideas from thousands of employees. Final market development and deployment was accomplished through a partnership between the company's business and information technology departments.

"It's amazing what can rise to the surface when you unleash the collective power of thousands of employees," said Susan Hood, Claims vice president at State Farm. "So often our people are required to pick up the pieces in the wake of a car crash. This type of innovation helps us prevent such tragedies from happening in the first place."


The service is the latest addition to the State Farm suite of mobile tools, which includes Steer Clear(TM), mobile banking, and Pocket Agent(TM).

It will be available on August 23rd via the Android Market. "On the Move" is compatible with Android OS 1.5 and higher. Upon updating State Farm Pocket Agent(TM), Android users will be able to access "On the Move" through a widget available on smartphone home screens.

The service is not available at this time on BlackBerry, Windows Mobile phone or iPhones but the State Farm development team is currently evaluating options beyond the Android offering.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Pfft, with android 2.2 and my nexus one car dock, I can use the awesome new voice commands to safely text with one simple touch, and never take my eyes off the road.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Good idea. Should be offered by all insurers.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Thats a pretty awesome idea,
      in places where it is illegal to talk/text on your phone while driving I can see it being quite useful
      • 5 Years Ago
      No love for Palm webOS?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Great app. Can't wait for this to come out for the iPhone. Nothing like having an "in the car" reply like an "I'm out of the office".
      • 5 Years Ago
      Situation: 2 people have the application running, one fires off a quick text at a red light

      INFINITE LOOP!!!!!!!!
        • 5 Years Ago
        if the program is good it would disable outgoing sms that was outside of the program while it was running
        • 5 Years Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Every dumbass I know will reply to the autotex as though it was never sent.

      "rlly? UR driving? Cool! I love driving!!!!!!!! What kind of car do you drive? Where are you going? Drvng is AWsum!"

      It never ceases to amaze me how people (people I know!) text like they talk. It usually goes like this:

      "I'm in (a store). Do you need anything?"
      "Why are you in (a store)?
      "Anything. Do. You. Need?"
      "Where are you?"

      Then you call them and they don't pick up the phone.
      • 5 Years Ago
      great simple idea that stands to do no harm and generate positive publicity... whoever came up with this deserves a huge raise
        • 5 Years Ago
        Probably an unpaid intern. I'm sure their $10 stipend is going to increase by at least 20%.
      • 5 Years Ago
      And I forgot to mention: whilst driving and not texting this morning I saw a Ferrari California on the 101. Florida plates. Very dirty. Probably a journo driving it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        True. Most people that actually drive supercars are journalists and such.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Seatbelt buckles, phone goes in center console. That's always been my rule. And I'm a teenager..
      • 5 Years Ago
      Bah, should have read the press release. Can't get it until the 23rd (Monday).

      AB please update this story with the release date or re-post it on Monday?
      • 5 Years Ago
      if you cant control yourself and not look at your phone when you get a text, you shouldn't be driving anyway. no app will help you with that
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