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Smartphones are everywhere these days. From your kids to your grandparents and everyone in between, these useful devices have taken over our lives. Packed with cameras and messaging and GPS and, oh yeah, even a phone, these pocket computers keep coming up with new ways to help us. And we take our phones with us all the time; the running path for music, the mall to text the latest deal, and road trips for, well, everything.
The team at React Mobile saw all of us with our smartphones and figured they could help. They have built a neat app called with the same name that turns your device into a connected panic button. Available for Android and iOS.
React Mobile is a straightforward app that installs quickly and runs with little fuss. Upon startup, you can choose to login with Facebook or set up an account. Facebook is the quickest option and ensures your alerts can be posted to your timeline, a key feature of the app that I will cover below.
The next step is to select which contacts you want to be selected to receive emergency notifications, called SOS alerts. You select from your phone contacts and can add as many as you wish. Be thoughtful here and think of folks that can both assist you in a crisis and those that will actually see the alert. The app will send an enrollment message via email and SMS if the contract includes both. This is helpful as it allows your emergency contacts to know ahead of time you have added them.
If you find yourself in a crisis situation, simply tap the SOS ALERT icon and all of your pre-selected contacts receive a message, including your location. Of course, this will raise the alarm and you are likely to get calls and texts asking you if you are indeed in trouble. Not responding to these should be viewed in the same way as joking around with 911 calls. Only use this service if you really need help as your trusted contacts will spring into action.
When you activate an alert you are given the option of clicking through to a 911 call. Again, use discretion and only act on this if emergency help is required.
To cancel an alert hold the icon down and you will be asked to enter a code shown on the screen. This prevents the alert from being canceled without you knowing. When canceled, your contacts will receive an all-clear SMS and email.
As I mentioned above, you can link the app to both Facebook and Twitter accounts. This of course broadcasts your alerts to all of your friends and followers and only adds the need for self-restraint. React Mobile is not a social networking app and should not be used as one. Keep in mind it will post a link to your physical location so once the alert is posted, depending on your Facebook and Twitter privacy settings, everyone will know where you are. Use wisely.
One neat, noncrisis feature of the app, is Follow Me. You select contacts, which can be different from your emergency contacts, the duration and off you go. These contacts can then follow you via the link they will receive. This is great if your kids are driving to the mall, your wife is going for a jog or you are meeting a Craigslist buyer. I tested this and it works well. I didn’t detect any serious battery drain but your mileage will vary.
React Mobile has built a handy app to help you quickly notify your emergency contacts in a crisis. It is easy to set up and manage. One more reason to have the smartphone with us when we head out.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All views and opinions with regard to React Mobile Review or the company are my own and were not influenced by the company.