Whether a big milestone in your family’s life is coming up like a child going off to school, or perhaps you’ve been through a personal scare, protection and security for you and your loved ones ought to be a real priority. Fortunately, we’re surrounded by technology that can keep us safer than ever before. Thanks to several great apps, your iPhone is capable of being a life saver.
Whether you need an app to make sure you can quickly and safely get in touch with emergency services or just need an app to monitor your friends and family’s well being, we’ve got you covered. Check out these iPhone apps that can truly help save a life if need be.
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Patronus is a phenomenal iPhone app that focuses on your own personal safety by providing a quick way to get in touch with emergency services at the press of a button. Unfortunately as phones have evolved, doing something as simple as placing a phone call has become a multi-step process, including dialing 911 for emergencies in the U.S. (The service also coming to Alaska and Hawaii by the end of 2016.)
Patronus asks you to provide quick information about yourself like your name, email, gender and age. Then it places a large Request Help button at the top of the app. This connects to the Patronus emergency center which then automatically connects to 911 on your behalf. During the phone call, the app helpfully shows you your current location just in case you’re in foreign territory.
Additionally, Patronus has an “On My Way” feature. It lets you select emergency contacts, pick a location you’re traveling to, and when you arrive there, the app will automatically notify them by email or text message that you’ve arrived safely.
The Patronus service costs $4.99 per month but has the potential to seriously save lives.
Safetrek is another monthly service that takes a different approach to personal safety. If you’re perhaps walking around in a sketchy neighborhood or college campus at night and don’t feel comfortable by yourself, open the Safetrek app. Just press and hold the green button that says Hold until safe.
Once you feel safe, release the button and punch in the 4-digit PIN you set up when you first launch the app. If you don’t do this within 10 seconds, Safetrek notifies police of your location and they are then free to pursue this as an emergency.
Safetrek works in the United States and requires a $2.99 per month subscription.
Unlike Patronus and Safetrek, Parachute relies on your own emergency contacts solely for support. The app has a simple UI with one purpose: broadcast live video and audio of your location to the emergency contacts you choose.
Press and hold the button to begin recording live video. Your emergency contacts get a phone call and a live link where they can watch what’s happening and decide whether or not to take action.
Important: The live video does not get sent to emergency services, nor do they get notified at all by you or the app directly.
A reassuring feature is that Parachute allows you to record while keeping your screen black, so if you’re in a potentially dangerous situation, no one around has to know you’re recording. You can choose to turn the camera view on if you wish, though.
You might be more familiar with Find My Friends, which is Apple’s own app for tracking the location of family and friends in your contacts. But what’s especially helpful for safety and security within the app are the notification options to find out when your friends have arrived at a location or left one.
First, choose some contacts to send your location to indefinitely and request a location from them by tapping Add at the top. Once you’re friends within the app, tap their name and choose Notify Me.
You can choose to get a notification when the contact leaves their current location or arrives at a different location that you specify. This will let you know when they’re safe in their travels. They can also get notifications about you if they please.