Nirbhaya – An Android App For Women In Distress

The unfortunate turn of events which took place in our country at the end of 2012 have made us realize that we have vastly underestimated the real risks faced by women in our country. Things can’t change overnight but we can use technology to do our best. Smartcloud Infotech, a Pune based software company has released an app which will most definitely help women in distress. Christened Nirbhaya, the app is a one-stop emergency notification platform which sends out useful information out to your contacts whenever there is an emergency. The app is available currently on Android 2.2 and above and is free to download.

Let’s get a better look at the app.

The app is pretty simple in what it does. It helps you assign your contacts to various groups which you can define. After you have set everything up, you can just tap once on the various options depending on the situation and who you want to notify, to send an emergency message.

Settings:


When you fire up the app for the first time, you will have to go into settings and start arranging all your desired contacts into groups which you can name such as ‘Family’, ‘Close Friends, ‘Police’ etc. You can also configure all other aspects of the app like Facebook integration, hotkeys, emergency numbers and so one. The app also asks you to fill up your personal information such as Name, Address, phone number and blood group in order to pre-load this into your emergency messages thus saving you, your friends and the authorities  a lot of time during a crisis.

Hotkeys:

Hotkeys as the name suggests lets you to tap on the options available such as Family Emergency, Accidents and Scream. You can connect these hotkeys to your contacts accordingly depending on who you want to notify in the case of these particular emergencies. Hotkeys can be assigned to an emergency number which you can call by default. This could be the Police, Hospital or Family.

Groups:


Groups help you to send messages/notify to an aggregated list of your contacts in fast manner. You can customize the group’s name and add all the numbers that you want from your contacts to a group depending on the purpose of the group. Eg. ‘Emergency Services’ group should have numbers of law and order personnel, hospital emergency services, ambulance services, doctors and so on. There are a total of 4 groups and each group allows you to add 10 numbers/contacts to it. You can assign ‘Hotkeys’ to a group thus making the whole thing much faster.

Facebook Integration:

In addition to SMS and call functionality, the application has Facebook integration. You can choose to post an emergency message on your Facebook wall by integrating Nirbhaya app with Facebook on Android. When you tick the ‘post on Facebook’ box in the app for the first time, the app will get the necessary permissions to go ahead and post on your wall.

Widgets:

Nirbhaya leverages the widget functionality in Android to make it easier for you to quickly send an emergency message right from your home screen without loading the whole app. The widget has a ‘Message’ button which will immediately ask you to choose the group you want to message. The ‘Call’ button will call the default emergency number that you have assigned with this hotkey.

I tried out the app and it works alright. However, I think the developers need to make it a little easier to understand on first run. It took me some time to understand exactly how the app works. That being said, the app is really good once you get the hang of it. You can always read the help section in the app if you get confused. You  should most definitely get this app and  help spread the word among your friends.

Download Link | Nirbhaya

2 Responses to “Nirbhaya – An Android App For Women In Distress”

  1. January 10, 2013 at 2:53 pm #

    The app should bypass the locked phone, just like we have a ‘emergency’ call option even when locked in our BBs. People might not get time to unlock phones during emergencies. Also update emergency on Facebook is a funny feature.

    Also one point to note is that when phones are locked, people often cant access what is inside or read the health information. A simple way to do this is to put emergency phone numbers as text display on your phone while locked.

    • Denzil
      January 10, 2013 at 2:59 pm #

      Yes, you are right. Unlocking the phone to get to the widget is a problem. Keeping numbers as text display on the lock screen could reduce quite a bit bit of time. However, there is a feature on Android where you can access certain things like music player controls etc. from the lock screen itself. The app’s developers should explore that option.

      Regarding the Facebook integration, I think it is a good feature if you want to get word out quick. Can you tell me why you thought it was funny?

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