App of the Week: Familonet

This week’s app is for those whose family and friends don’t all have phones operating on the same platform.

The Apple iPhone’s “Find My Friends” app is great — but what if your fam/friends don’t all have iPhones?

Familonet

Familonet is a GPS-enabled third-party app — available for both Apple and Android phones — that allows you to locate your device or that of your family or friends (so long as they’ve got the app too). I find this especially helpful as I’m currently the only one in my household with an iPhone (fix your screen issues with the Pixel 2 XL, Google, and we’ll talk!) so this makes it easier to get notifications from each other about where we are or where we may have left our phone(s).

This is what the main screen when you open the app looks like:

From here you can create groups, manage those contacts you’ve allowed to view your location, change notification settings, update your profile, etc.

Once you’ve created a group (+ Add group) and the group members have given you permission to locate them (via the app on their device), you can then see where their devices are located. You can also save locations (“Places”) that you visit often, like home, school or work. You can chat with your contacts from within the app and request a manual location update. You can also see where everyone is located on a map. This works great say, if you need to meet one of your contacts and want to know where they are in relation to where you are.

When you click on a group contact, this is the screen you will see. It will give you the last location and time it was updated and give you the option to click to see the real-time location (again, only if they’ve got the app AND given you permission).

If you’ve created a “place” for your group, it will show not only the contact you’ve selected but also everyone else in the group that may have checked into that “place” too — including yourself.

The cool thing about this app is that it can notify you if a group contact has left or arrived at a specific “place” that has been created. The location isn’t precise (the paid version doesn’t offer any location tweaks either), so the contact can still be about 100 metres away and be technically considered as checked-in at the “place”. The smallest radius is 100 metres, which is about the same as Apple’s “Find My Phone” and Android’s “Where’s My Phone.”

The app has its free version as well as the paid version. The free version allows you to see everything in real-time, therefore it does not give you historical data. So, if you’ve lost your phone and you’re pretty sure the battery died and umm…you can’t remember the different places you were the night before, you’re out of luck. It will only give you the last updated location before the phone was turned off. The paid version, however, will not only allow you to see all the different places where your phone’s been, but also the different locations of your group members’ phones.

What do you think of this app? Handy? Creepy? Don’t care for it? Let me know!

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