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Do you text and drive? Then this free Android app is for you | VIDEO
A local entrepreneur is marketing a free mobile phone app that lets you text faster. For drivers who insist on texting despite the law and risk, the app may make you safer.
On The Go Acronyms (OTGA) is the brainchild of real estate agent Survon Narcisse of Northeast Tacoma. With the program, users of Android mobile devices can access a list of 46 commonly-texted phrases.
All you need to do is enter the first letter or two from a default acronym, then send. For example, "On my way home" can be texted by simply entering "O." Want to text that loved one that you'll "be there in 15 minutes?" Type in BT and pick from the list.
"I was always getting these text messages and I always had to pull over for the most part. If I wanted to type 'I can't talk right now,' that could be a chore when you're trying to text or if you're busy," Narcisse said. "So I said, wouldn't it be cool if I could press a couple of buttons and just have that automatically pop up and just send it."
Narcisse admits he has no technological skills and started only with an idea. He soon sought bids from developers to make the app a reality — or more accurately, developers from around the world sought a contract with him after hearing the sales pitch.
He settled on the best of about 10 bids, and now focuses on marketing the free app. For the time being, he has yet to cash in, but an upgrade is in the works. The next version of the OTGA app will cost $2.99, he said, and will include more options. Narcisse, a former Federal Way resident, is also working to make the app available for Apple iPhones.
Hundreds of people have downloaded the OTGA app so far.
"It fills a gap," said Narcisse, 42. "Plus it's always going to be spelled correctly."
And while Narcisse doesn't condone texting while driving, he hopes that if people choose to do it anyway, this app can minimize the distraction from sending a routine message.
"People shouldn't text at red lights, but they do," said Narcisse said. "Everything's on a device and everyone has devices."