Get information on useful phone features, such as shortcuts to emergency call access and temporary location-tracking services. And stay safe out there
By Virgin TV Edit
Our smartphones can do loads and loads nowadays – you might even be reading this article on yours right now. But undoubtedly their best feature is the ability to contact anyone, through various mediums, from practically anywhere.
With countless safety features built in, or available through third party apps, offering loved ones peace of mind extends way beyond the occasional phone call.
Below we explore some of our favourite features that you can, and should, share with all your friends and family. The more people that know about emergency features and apps that both promote and facilitate your safety, the better.
And while you’re exploring the built-in emergency alerts, why not add your medical information while you’re there? Just in case.
The SOS features listed below are designed to automatically contact your local emergency service, but you may be asked which service you require in certain territories. Some features may require mobile data or access to your network, so make sure you’re connected. And if you need more info about device-specific features, you should contact the manufacturer.
WhatsApp Live Location
WhatsApp’s Live Location function gives you the option to share your real-time location with someone in an individual chat or with a group chat.
1. Enable location permissions for WhatsApp in Settings > Apps & notifications > Advanced > App permissions > Location > turn on WhatsApp. Alternatively, go to Settings > Apps & notifications > WhatsApp > Permissions > turn on Location.
2. Open an individual or group chat.
3. Tap Attach > Location > Share live location.
4. Select the length of time you'd like to share your live location. Your live location will stop being shared after the selected amount of time.
5. Tap Send.
Samsung Emergency Mode
Emergency Mode allows you to extend the standby time of your device, make emergency calls and a call to a specified contact. You can also sound alarms and send your location information to others.
1. Press and hold the Power button until you see the power menu options.
2. Press Emergency Mode. If you’re using this mode for the first time you will need to accept the Terms and Conditions.
3. Press Enable or Turn On.
4. To turn off Emergency Mode, tap the three dots in the top right corner of the screen, then press Turn off emergency mode or Disable Emergency Mode, then Disable.
OPPO Emergency SOS
Dial emergency numbers, send out SOS messages quickly and more with this useful feature.
Go to Settings > Security > Emergency SOS > Read terms and conditions > Agree or Cancel
From here, you can then add up to three emergency contacts who you are able to call when the phone is in Emergency SOS mode. You can also press the power button five times in succession to make an emergency call.
Extending beyond the native safety features offered by the manufacturers, there is also a wide collection of personal safety apps available to download for both iOS and Android.
If you’re in a dangerous situation and you’re unable to physically use or reach your phone, One Scream is a good one to have installed. When the app hears a scream, it will initiate a siren, and if it’s not turned off before 20 seconds (if it’s been accidentally triggered), then it will send your location to a pre-set emergency contact.
The Hollie Guard app has two main features – Deterrent Mode and Stealth Mode. The former is for attracting attention, while the latter sends out a discreet emergency call. This is how they work:
Deterrent Mode: When activated with a shake, your phone goes into high alert, utilising lots of features at once. The screen will fill with bright red light, the torch flashes, the cameras will begin recording video and audio, all the while capturing your live location. A second shake will sound a high-pitched siren for attracting further attention.
Stealth Mode: If it’s unsafe for you to attract a lot of attention, or you’re hiding, Stealth Mode triggers a silent alert while showing a dummy home screen, making it seem no alert has been triggered.
BSafe is jam-packed with features, making it an essential app for staying safe. Here’s a rundown of the top-billed features.
Fake call: Simulate a phone call when you’re feeling unsafe to deter would be attackers
Follow Me: Share your love location with loved ones, so they can track your location on your way home
Voice activation: If you’re unable to physically use your phone, you can activate an SOS alarm with your voice
Live streaming: If your SOS alarm is activated, your emergency contacts will be able to see and hear what’s going on through your camera and mics.
WalkSafe’s website says it’s designed to make the world a safer place. When using the app’s maps, you’ll see information about crime rates, informed by police crime data. And if you’re walking, you’ll be notified if you’re approaching a dodgy area, so you can plan an alternative route.
If you feel uneasy when walking home alone, the TapSafe feature immediately calls your delegated emergency contact, and shares your location information with them. And when you get home, the HomeSafe feature will ping your loved ones, to let them know you’re, well, home safe.