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App Friday: Life 360, Family, felon and fire station finder

If you’ve got a family, young kids, teenagers or parents with some mobility issues and could do with being better aware of their location, Life360 has the answer.

This application offers easy location sharing of multiple family members, a communal messaging platform and enables quick, easy signalling for help across connected devices. What’s more it’s available across operating systems, so whether you and your family use Android, iOS or a mixture of both, you can quietly check-in on your loved ones and be safe in the knowledge they know where you are too.

When you create a Life360 account, you effectively create a network for your family. You only need to enter your name and email address, create a password and you’re good to go. Send invites to your family and they go through the same process as well as a one off validation of their email address.

Life360 main screenLife360 HistoryLife360 Check-in screen

Once up and running, you’re taken through to the main screen as displayed in the upper left. This locates you on a map, the rest of your family members as well as police stations, fire stations, hospitals and convicted sex offenders in your area. You can turn any of these features off on your children’s or indeed your own phone should you prefer.

On the top right are three shortcuts. The green tick broadcasts to your family that you are ok, the speech bubble in the middle opens the communal messenger and the red button with the centred exclamation mark broadcasts that you need help, with a quick-dial option to enable an additional touch to call the police.

There is also the option to click through on a family member in the bottom left corner of the map. Here you can view contact information and recent check-ins which automatically refresh.

Anyone outside the US won’t be able to use the call police function as the number (911) is country-specific. Non US users will also have to forgo entering their mobile numbers into the app as UK numbers for example are unrecognised. That said, this is a very small part of Life360’s functionality.

The final point to note about the application is its widget that can be dropped on a home screen. Effectively a condensed version of the top right hand portion of the main Life360 screen, it gives users a shortcut to the three buttons described earlier. The widget could be perfect for anyone who doesn’t speak English (the only language the app is currently available in) as well as someone suffering from impaired vision.

This app might tread on a few privacy toes, but there’s no denying the utility behind it. It’s pretty easy to see the multiple situations Life360 could help families and indeed businesses out in, so whether your family has a runner who’s out for hours at a time, a parent who’s prone to falling over or a teenager who could just do with a little tracking, download the app on your phone for free.

If you’ve got any questions about Life360 or use it and want to share your thoughts, drop us a comment below.

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