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Updated below

OnMobile has launched a personal safety Android app called Help Me on Mobile.

The app is currently available as a free download on Google Play Store and aims to allow users alert their families during medical emergencies, accidents, theft, eve teasing and stalking among others.

Registration: We tried it on Nexus 4 and noticed that one needs to sign up for the service by providing requisite information like name and photo along with their family or guardian’s mobile numbers to which the emergency SMS or calls will be sent. Users can enter up to five mobile numbers by either adding them from the phone book or manually entering the phone number in the provided text box. These numbers can later be edited by clicking on the Guardian section on the app homescreen.

Following the registration, the app provides two different buttons – ‘I am Here’ and ‘I need Help’. Tapping on the ‘I am Here’ option triggers an SMS to all the listed emergency contacts with the current location information in text and as a Google Maps link, and keeps sending these messages every 10 minutes until the service is turned off. However, we noticed that the app doesn’t provide the exact location to these contacts, which we feel can be quite crucial in terms of emergencies. For instance, it indicated my location to be about 1Km from where I am, in the alert messages sent to my emergency contacts.

HelpMe OnMobile

Interestingly, while the app seems to deliver messages via SMS, we noticed that the users need to have a working mobile Internet connection to use the app. Also, the app doesn’t seem to provide any notification to the user whether the message has been sent to their emergency contacts or not.

Alarm Feature: The ‘I need Help’ button triggers a panic alarm on the user’s phone. The company says that this feature also triggers an SMS to all listed emergency contacts, however it didn’t work for us at the time of writing this article. The app also seems to allow users to choose from a list of templates for these alert messages or enter a custom alert message through its settings menu. Interestingly, the app settings also seems to offer the ability of automatically calling the first emergency contact when the alarm is triggered, but it didn’t work for us at the time of writing this article. Update: Both the features now work fine on Nexus 4.

Besides this, the app also provides a homescreen widget, through which users can make use of both the features mentioned above.

HelpMe Widget

Other Players: CanvasM offers a similar women safety mobile app FightBack, which allows users to send alert messages to their friends and family via SMS and email. It also offers the option to automatically update the user’s Facebook status and show alerts on the FightBack website. The app is currently available on iOS, Android, Nokia, BlackBerry and Windows Phone.

Besides FightBack, there is also Kriti Labs’s SafeTrac, Circle Of 6, and bSafe among others.

Updates: Added a bit more information in the location accuracy bit. Headline modified to indicate the issue has been resolved.

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