There has been a massive public outcry of late over the safety of women in India, following the death of a girl who was assaulted in the country’s capital. One question that we have been asked often of late is “Are there any apps that can keep one safe?” Well, if “safety” in your book is something that’s either a lethal or an invisible shield or bodyguard, we will have to answer in the negative. There are however, apps that come with the ability to alert your near and dear ones that there’s something amiss – panic button apps, location indicators, and a number of others. However, for sheer effectiveness and variety, we must say that Glympse is our favourite.
There are many reasons for our favouring this app. But perhaps the biggest is the fact that it is available across the most platforms at no cost. You can get Glympse for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry – and without paying a penny. Coming a close second is the fact that the app lets you send your location to anyone – just about anyone – who has an Internet connection on their device, even if they do not have Glympse on it. So you can use the app to tell people where you are, even if they do not have the app themselves – by mail, by text message or by just sharing your location on Facebook and Twitter. Neat.
Mind you, Glympse is not marketed as a personal safety app. Its main purpose is simple – to let your friends know where you are. All you need to do is download the app, launch it and when you wish to share your location, go to the ‘send Glympse’ option, upon which you will get the choice to send your location for a specific period of time (you can go up to four hours), with a message (you can opt to type one out or if time is at a premium, opt for one of the pre-written ones) as well as your destination. The person getting the Glympse will either get a mail or a text message (depending on what you opted for) with a link, clicking on which will open a browser, which will display a map showing your location. Viewers can also check how far you are from your destination and the speed you are travelling at. Or if you just wish to send a snapshot of your current location, send a check in. In either case, the people with whom you choose to share your location will be able to see you on a map – as a moving dot, or a static one, depending on your choice.
Of course, the app has a social angle too – you can share your location on Facebook and Twitter. And in a neat new twist given to the app, you can also form groups of your friends having the app and not just send Glympses but also request them to send you a Glympse. For us, however, the real magic of the app is the fact that it lets your friends track your location over a period of time. So if you feel nervous about venturing at an odd hour, send a Glympse across to those who matter and ask them to keep an eye out. Connectivity willing, it works brilliantly (it needs a good 3G connection – on EDGE, it gets too slow). No, it is not perfect – we wish it had a single alarm button somewhere that one could hit right away in a sudden crisis and send a message to key people. And it does tend to drain battery. But when you look at what it delivers – the ability to share your location with minimum fuss and maximum effect – we think this is the best location sharing app of them all.
Be it on a lonely road. Or in a new city. Or on a late drive home. There are times when the thought that one’s friends know exactly where one is can be immensely comforting. Glympse delivers that comfort. And charges you nothing. A must download? Very much. And not just on your device. But on each of your friends as well. It will help you all know exactly where you stand. Literally. Especially when you need them.
That’s what friends are for, right?