Developer’s Description: Over 15 million people have used the free Life360 Family Locator app. It allows you to see where your family members are located, when they need help in case of emergency, and what is on their minds using a private family group chat. The ‘Check In’ notifies parents when their children have safely arrived at their destination in a convenient and secure way that doesn’t interfere with busy schedules or personal freedom. The app also displays an easy-to-read map of nearby safety points such as hospitals and police stations. Life360’s app has proven reliable when it counts most. Last year after the Japanese tsunami, over 1600 families in Japan successfully connected with their loved ones via Life360, even when phone lines were down.
Life360 has been recognized as an industry leader by Facebook, Google’s Android Developer Challenge, Mom’s Choice Awards, National Parenting Publications Awards, and the Webby Awards.
Category: Family Safety, Utilities, Other
Platform: iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry
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The Life360 Family Locator application utilizes the GPS capabilities of smartphones to allow families to keep track of each other’s location. Kids are encouraged to check-in through the app, saving parents from worrying if their children have arrived. The application confirms the check-in’s location through GPS. The application is available for iPhone and Android phones, but the service can be used to track any phone that can receive SMS messages. Both the application and the basic service are free; additional services and real-time updates are available for $4.99 a month. A recent flood of new features includes “Life360 ID” that can share medical & emergency information (and has cards, bracelets, etc. for sale) and other “for purchase” options. Hits: The application and the basic service are both free; with additional services available. The Family Locator app has no social features, as it is meant as a tool, not a game. Privacy is included since tracking is only available when the application is running and/or has been approved. Misses: Initial setup requires messaging all family members and takes a while. Permissions and approvals keep things private, but could be a problem if your tech-savvy child wishes to go off the grid.
Michael Kaufman AIA, TECHNOGORILLA (technogorilla.com)