updated 01:25 pm EST, Wed January 19, 2011
T-Mobile Moto Cliq 2, DriveSmart Android app ship
T-Mobile's Android plans for 2011 began in earnest today as it began shipping the Motorola Cliq 2 along with a new Android app. The successor to one of T-Mobile's longest-serving Android phones costs $100 on contract ($400 off) but represents one of its more designs to date. A 1GHz processor, a 3.7-inch touchscreen and 10.1Mbps 3G put it well ahead of the past model.
It currently runs Android 2.2 with Flash support and carries a five-megapixel camera. Only a 2GB microSD card provides storage out of the box, though it can take up to a 32GB replacement.
Along with the phone, T-Mobile made available DriveSmart, a new app to help discourage text messaging while driving. At a core level, it can toggle the phone into a driving mode that will both mute call and text notifications and either send an automatic text response or forward a call to either a Bluetooth headset or voicemail.
The free, Basic version of the app requires a manual toggle, but a $10 monthly subscription Plus version uses GPS to determine when to enter driving mode. Options also become more fine-grained with apps selectively allowed to override the driving mode. Anyone can override the driving mode, but parents can get an automatic notification if the override happens and even track behavior over the web.
DriveSmart is initially available just for the LG Optimus T, but more devices should come soon.