These days, we use our smartphones for just about everything. We shop on them. We connect with friends and family through text and social media. We check email, do our banking and use them to stay organized. What we often fail to realize, however, is that these mobile devices have the potential to change or even possibly save our lives. If you’re not yet using the following apps and features, you might want to start today.
Severe weather events, such as tornadoes and flash floods, can occur with little to no warning. In the past, unless you were watching TV or listening to the radio, you could potentially miss alerts and end up in a dangerous situation. Now, thanks to apps like Dark Sky, RadarScope and Accuweather, you can get instant alerts the moment a severe weather event occurs. Most weather notification apps are free and completely customizable.
Today’s banking and financial management apps are capable of doing much more than just notifying you of when your paycheck was deposited. In fact, the right app could save you from becoming a victim of fraud or theft. For example, if your debit or credit card is stolen or skimmed, alerts about large or unusual purchases will tip you off so you can notify your bank or credit card company right away. Most financial institutions have their own secure apps that let users set up customized alerts whenever certain triggers occur, such as large transactions or password changes. (Just be careful to avoid fake banking apps.)
Knowing what’s happening on your travel route can do more than just save you time on your commute. Traffic jams and other road events can often place drivers at risk. Using a GPS app like Waze, Google Maps or INRIX Traffic can help you avoid danger by receiving alerts about things like backups, accidents, hazardous road conditions and severe weather affecting your planned route.
What’s going on when you’re not at home? Apps like Nest, Presence and Arlo (just to name a few) let you keep an eye on your home or yard from anywhere. Some apps are linked to security systems while others, like Presence, let you turn your existing devices into a makeshift remote monitoring platform. Motion detection can alert you to a possible problem that could require a call to the police or fire department. Similarly, the Pet Chatz app can be set up to notify you whenever your pet is behaving unusually, such as excessive barking, which could indicate the presence of a burglar.
Last, but certainly not least, are health-monitoring apps, which are specifically designed with the intent of saving lives. The Apple Watch Series 4, for instance, comes with a built-in feature for tracking the wearer’s heart rate. In the event of an unusually high or irregular heart rate or other urgent medical situations, the app will immediately alert the user. Even many of the more basic wellness trackers, like Fitbit, offer this type of feature.
Over to you. Are you using any of these life-changing/life-saving apps? Did we miss any that you would recommend?