I think it would be even more awesome if Apple and Google took the consideration to design these apps or functionalities into their actual phone interfaces, like if you tapped the phone a certain way or pressed a panic button, then an app would launch. Don’t get me wrong – awesome idea and design. But I think there’s one more critical step missing: if someone is actually panicking, are they really going to think to dig into a buried list of apps on their phone?
But beyond that, apps like this really inspire me to learn more about developing / inspiring + leading other developers to make more socially positive apps. On a malevolent/neutral/benevolent social scale, the apps I made at my previous job I felt were pretty neutral and didn’t hurt anybody, but we totally had the competency to make apps that might actually improve or save lives. Shit, if I had the Photoshop comps I could crank out those apps. Of course, companies have to keep their doors open and investors happy by creating products that other people will pay for, but it kills me that people who are perfectly and exceedingly capable of making technology like this waste their creativity and genius on things that I feel are useless.
Circle of Six:
The Circle of Six app works by allowing women to quickly access their six closest contacts in uncomfortable or unsafe situations. With just two taps of a finger, Circle of Six allows someone to tell the six people closest to them things like “Come and get me. I need help getting home safely” or “Call and pretend you need me. I need an interruption.” An emergency button automatically calls the Love Is Not Abuse help line.
Like Circle of Six, OnWatch allows users to reach out to emergency contacts quickly and easily, but with a few added bells and whistles. OnWatch has a special “campus security” button that allows college students direct access to campus police with two taps. If OnWatch users are in immediate danger, they can hit the “panic” button. Not only will that immediately dial 911, it will also send text messages and emails to your designated friend group letting them know you’re in trouble and giving them your phone’s GPS coordinates.
Both apps, which will be available in early 2012, are customizable to fit the needs of the user. And they’ll both be free and potentially lifesaving, so if you own a smartphone, you really can’t afford to not use them.