We have made different tests creating circles within the Life 360 application and in the next lines we offer you our impressions.
The tests have been carried out using two terminals in their versions 17.7.1 for IOS and 17.7.0 for Android. The size of the application is 254.7 MB for the IOS version and 39 MB for the Android version.
After installing the application it is necessary to create or join a circle already created by an invitation code. A circle is a set of authorized users who can share information and messages.
Once I belong to one or more circles, I can decide if I want to share my location with the members of that circle. I can select in turn if I want to receive alerts from any of the circle members and select if I want to receive notifications when this person enters or leaves the places of interest. At the same time you can select the possibility of receiving alerts when the person drives.
Location on the map
One of the main functionalities of the application is to share the GPS position of each member of the circle on the map.
The location on the map works with reasonable precision and the display on the map of these positions with their different configurable views is useful and stylized. In a simple glance you can check the positions of the different members of the circle on the map and check their movement in real time.
Places are selectable points on the map that allow you to trigger automatic notifications if you enter or exit them.
In the free version you can only select 2 places with common alerts in each circle, which is a bit scarce from 3 people per circle. To increase the number of common places it is necessary to request a Premium account. However, with these 2 places referenced in the map has been sufficient to check its correct functioning and the notifications that occur when the person enters or leaves these places.
The application has a very functional chat for circles that has high availability that is up to the best messaging applications such as WhatsApp or Facebook. The chat allows the sharing of images in real time.
The panic button is used to communicate an emergency to the members of the circle, and there is also the possibility of communicating an emergency to the 112 or national emergency telephone number.
Members of a Premium circle will receive an email notification, notification in the application and a text of their current location, plus a phone call that will let them know they need help. However, if you are part of a circle that is not Premium, each member will receive an email and a notification within the application that will notify them that you need help.
Regarding this functionality we would propose as a line of improvement to incorporate the panic button to the home screen in a more visible way since we consider that a person in emergency situation needs to have easy and fast access to it.
The battery level of the members of the circle is presented in an updated and reliable way in the application.
The manufacturer indicates a consumption not exceeding 10% of additional battery when your application is executed and after our tests we can say that it is satisfied satisfactorily.
The driving features are not fully released in the free version of the application. The driving functionality allows to visualize the routes that a certain person of the circle has made in vehicle and receive fins in case their speed of displacement is associated to a displacement in a vehicle.
From our point of view, we believe that Life 360 can be useful for different use cases and user profiles.
On the one hand, we see that the application has a very high potential for the elderly and / or with cognitive impairment, as well as for the care of people with some type of disability. In this case, the application can provide great peace of mind to family members and caregivers by allowing them to view the user's position at all times, as well as receive information about the places of interest they have passed through or their battery level. In addition, the alert button function is provided so that you can notify in case of problems and easy communication through the chat. This type of case we have simulated in the tests with the volunteer Aurora.
Another of the most common cases of use can be parental control to know the location of minors at certain times of the day when you can not have a face-to-face control. This type of use case is the one we simulated in the tests with the volunteer Xavier and his family.
In turn, the application can be useful for the visualization and communication of groups composed of several people who make trips, excursions or group camps.
In our opinion, it is convenient not to use this application to overprotect your children or parents or to carry out an excessive control on the couple because it is not the purpose and can lead to misunderstandings and undesirable situations. From our point of view it should serve as a mechanism to allow communication of emergencies, facilitate communication and allow knowing the location of users, but it is always advisable to contrast this information by other methods.
It is necessary to previously enable notifications of arrival and departure of a place of interest or driving to be notified of them. Once this is done, we have verified that, in general, notifications are received correctly, although in some cases they have presented some delays.
To be able to receive notifications of the alert button it is necessary that the person issuing them has configured you as an emergency contact.
In the reception of the different notifications we have detected that the application sends some notification messages in English even if it is configured in Spanish, so it would be interesting to review this point and taking advantage, update the general contents of the support website so that they can be all accessible in Spanish.
The menu is simple for people who handle a mobile terminal on a daily basis, but we would suggest enabling a simplified menu with high contrasts, large font sizes and icons to facilitate its use to the elderly and people with different types of disabilities. In this sense, we would recommend simplifying access to the alert button.
Life 360 is a reasonably reliable application compared to other localization applications. However, it is convenient to rely on this type of aid knowing that sometimes they can present failures and it is always good to contrast the data it offers through a call or message to confirm emergency situations. To be able to squeeze all the potential it offers and especially for circles of more than 2 people it is advisable to hire the Premium version.
- The application presents reasonable reliability in positioning and alerts.
- The menus and positioning system are clear and stylized
- The free version allows a lot of functionalities and the paid version is not excessively expensive
- Solve problems with notifications in English at some key points
- The alert button is a bit hidden and could be brought to the main menu
- Could provide a simplified desktop layer for the elderly or with intellectual or cognitive disabilities