T-Mobile Intros Text-Blocking and Family Locator Tools
T-Mobile today introduced the expanded availability of two separate services from Location Labs. The first is an application called DriveSmart, which can be used to prevent users from sending text messages or making voice calls when the phone is in driving mode. The application sends incoming calls straight to voicemail and will send automatic responses to incoming text messages indicating that the person is driving and will respond later. The service is opt-in and requires a monthly fee. The phone must be manually switched to driving mode, however. It doesn't happen automatically when the phone starts to move at car-like speeds. The other application being offered by T-Mobile mirrors the family locator services already offered by AT&T, Sprint and Verizon Wireless. T-Mobile FamilyWhere lets account holders track the whereabouts of all the handsets related to the account. FamilyWhere can be programmed to deliver real-time alerts, set curfews, and geographical limits for all handsets on the account. FamilyWhere also requires a monthly fee. The software is compatible with Android handsets to start.
Skype for Android Now Compatible with Android Wear
Skype has updated its Android application with support for Android Wear, giving people the power to manage Skype messages and calls from their wrist. Skype will surface notifications on Android Wear devices, and can be used to respond to messages via dictation or pre-set text.
Verizon Allowing Customers to Send Starbucks Gift Cards via Text
Verizon Wireless today announced that its customers can send Starbucks eGift cards to one another from within the Verizon Messages application. The application lets users pick a background, amount ($5, $10, or $25), and enter a short message.
Google's Family Link App to Help Manage Kid Phones
Google today announced Family Link, an app and service parents can use to set up and monitor Android smartphones for their children. Parents can use the app to create Google accounts for kids younger than age 13, which is linked to the parent account.
Google Debuts Family Library for Play Store Purchases
Google today introduced the Google Play Family Library, which allows a single account holder to share purchases with up to six family members. Google says eligible app, game, movie, TV show, and book purchases from the Play Store can be shared across Android and iOS devices, as well as the web with no additional sign-up fee.
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