Tech News on G4
Guardian AlertME app offers up a little piece of mind
Oct 29, 2013
By Greg Gazin - Apple Gazin’ - G4 Canada
If you're heading out to Trick or Treat on Halloween, jog around the neighbourhood or you’re off to locations unknown, it's probably a good idea to check in with your loved ones to let them know you're ok. But despite our best intentions we sometimes just forget and unknowingly causing unnecessary worry at home. So isn't it nice to know that there's an app that will not only remind you to check in but it will send an SMS alert and or email to a designated emergency contact if you don't.
It's called Guardian AlertME, by SnakeHead Software, LLC. Designed for iOS it’s easy to set up and easy to use. Right through the app, you simply register with your name, optional email address and a 4-digit PIN, which acts as your password. Select your alert contacts from your address book, you can have up to five and pick whether they are to get an SMS text message, e-mail or both.
It has a couple of preconfigured sample alerts, but you can customize a number of alerts of your own. When you head off for a 30-min jog, for example, you can create an alert for 30 minutes, select your panic alert contact or contacts and then hit the activate countdown button. At 29 minutes, a pop up notification will warn you there's a minute left, alerting you to deactivate the alarm by entering your 4-digit PIN. If you fail to do so, the alert will be sent automatically when the clock runs down.
Should you find yourself in a difficult situation, you don’t have to wait for the countdown to finalize you can simply hit the red Panic Alert button any time, accept the acknowledgment and your alert goes out immediately.
SMS Alert with Map and GPS Coordinates
The alert message also includes a convenient link to a map and GPS coordinates so the recipient knows where you are in the event they need to go looking for you. And in the event your device is broken or off, alerts will still be sent, as the information is also stored in the cloud. In fact, while it's not documented, the developer has advised me that your location is actually updated every six minutes.
What I like is that it's simple to use and can provide more comfort especially for those people and their families who are looking for that little extra bit of security, which it seems we can’t get enough of these days. The ability to send alerts, even if the device is unavailable, to more than one person is a huge plus. Furthermore, you can have different contacts set up for different alerts, useful depending on the situation. In addition, the alert function can simply be used for reminders as well.
A couple of things I would like to see in future updates would be the ability to set and alert for a specific time, like 10:30PM or maybe even date with the option to repeat, rather than only by number of minutes. It would also be nice to have the flexibility to adjust the warning time rather than the fixed 60 seconds. And finally, an option to encrypt or hide the PIN might also be a good idea.
Guardian AlertME, available at the iTunes App Store, is a great little app, especially for those who are looking for a little piece of mind. Even at $1.99, it’s a bargain, but for a limited time, you can get it for $0.99, 50% off. It’s optimized for iPhone 5 but runs on iPad, iPhone and iPod touch - of course you'll need to ensure you have a proper connection for the app to be truly useful.
Finally, as we go to press, Austin, Texas-base SnakeHead Software founder Gerald Bailey, advises us, the company is currently working version 2.0, a free update for existing users, which will see some significant user-interface and feature enhancements. They’re also working on a version for Android.
Rating: 4.5 / 5
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