Texting While Driving: New Apps Answer Messages So You Don't Have To

Last Updated Aug 31, 2010 11:49 AM EDT

We all know by now that texting while driving is seriously dangerous, to the point where many states have outlawed the practice.

Okay, but the whole point of text messaging is rapid response. What if you get a note from your boss or an important client while you're doing 70 on the interstate? If you don't answer quickly, there could be...consequences.

Nothing worth dying over, of course, so resist the urge to break the law and risk your life. Instead, let an app answer for you.

For example, the new State Farm On The Move widget for Android combats this "distracted driving" by automatically sending a custom response to anyone who texts you while you're, well, on the move. It's free, and available now via Android Market. Check it out:


As you can see, On The Move requires manual activation -- meaning you have to remember to enable it. Ideally, the app would automatically detect when you're driving and enable itself. (According to Gizmodo, that functionality is in the works.)

Enter SMS Replier, an app that engages its auto-reply system when it detects your phone moving at speeds greater than 15 mph. Genius. It's a bit steep at $19.95, but I'd say your life -- and possibly career -- are worth the money.

SMS Replier is currently available for Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Mobile, with iPhone and Palm versions in the works. Here's the Android version in action:


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    Rick Broida, a technology writer for more than 20 years, is the author of more than a dozen books. In addition to writing CNET's The Cheapskate blog, he contributes to CNET's iPhone Atlas.

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