Help is a click away: Downloading a few apps is a good idea for safety

Dec 15 2013, 14:12 IST
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Ensure that your phone is always connected to the internet, GPS is on and that it is charged. Ensure that your phone is always connected to the internet, GPS is on and that it is charged.
SummaryEnsure that your phone is always connected to the internet, GPS is on and that it is charged.

If you frequently travel alone through deserted or unsafe parts of the city, it might be a good idea to download a few apps for your safety. In the unfortunate event of an attack, these apps might help you quickly alert friends or family members. They can use this information to alert police or authorities concerned. If you install these apps, please remember to place them on the homescreen of your smartphone. Also, practice taking your phone out of your bag or pocket, and quickly opening one of these apps. During an emergency, the last thing you want to do is fiddle with your phone, in search of an app. Ensure that your phone is always connected to the internet, the GPS is on and that it is charged. If needed, carry a portable battery pack to charge the phone while commuting. These measures might seem obvious, but don’t take them for granted. When you are in danger, every second counts.

MapMyIndia ReachMe

Web, Android, iOS, Windows Phone

Free

Indian navigation company MapMyIndia has recently launched an app called ReachMe. As the name suggests, it lets your friends find you. Unlike some other apps that limit the number of emergency contacts, ReachMe lets you share your location with your contacts via WhatsApp, SMS, email, Facebook, Twitter and Skype. When tested on an iPhone, the app was able to determine our location within three seconds. Sharing a location is easy, but it takes at least four clicks to send your location to any contact. In future versions, it would be great to see sharing options on the app’s main screen itself. The app sends a link and an alphanumeric PIN to your contacts. Those who have installed ReachMe can enter the PIN in the app to see where you are. This app is useful when you’re lost or in danger and MapMyIndia’s maps have house-level data for most cities.

Sentinel safe.anywhere

iOS, Android

Free

Kochi-based MindHelix has developed an app, Sentinel safe.anywhere, which can make calls, send text messages and emails to emergency contacts in one click. The app’s feature list includes tracking, which means that your emergency contacts will be able to see your location, travel history and the direction you were travelling in. Its alert button automatically calls your contact five seconds after you press it. During tests, we got a call almost instantly from a US number, which mentioned my name and location (with

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