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State Farm Mobile Widget Texts On Drivers' Behalf

The Android-only extension to the Pocket Agent application allows users to concentrate on the road instead of incoming texts, the company says.

Bloomington, Ill.-based State Farm Insurance Company will release a widget for Android phones on August 23 that allows users to prepare automated responses for incoming text messages.

The "On the Move" widget, which is part of the company's Pocket Agent for Android application, is meant to keep drivers' focus on the road instead of on their phones, the company says.

"This new service will help drivers manage the temptation to read or respond to text messages when they are behind the wheel," Laurette Stiles, VP of strategic resources at State Farm, says in a statement. "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 service works with all incoming texts, or can be limited to only senders in the user's address book. Incoming text messages are still received and can be accessed in the user's inbox. State Farm points out that it has other uses besides driving — it can be activated at any time the user cannot respond to texts, such as in class, at the gym or at a movie.

State Farm's development team is currently evaluating options beyond Android, including BlackBerry, Windows Mobile and iPhone, the company says.

Nathan Golia is senior editor of Insurance & Technology. He joined the publication in 2010 as associate editor and covers all aspects of the nexus between insurance and information technology, including mobility, distribution, core systems, customer interaction, and risk ... View Full Bio

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