Life 360 vs Safely: Which app is for you?

Dayna Mignone
April 30, 2021

Life 360 vs Safely: Which safety app is best?

Are you a parent or looking to protect a loved one and want to explore what safety device is best for you?

With one in three parents reporting that they track their kids and 10% admitting they would consider the use of microchipping GPS ‘tech implants’, makes us question the fine line between protection and obsession in society today.

 

We can all recognise the attraction of knowing where family or friends are in case of an emergency but where does it become excessive? 

 

There are no shaming individuals who want to take precautions to ensure their families safety, but we want to explore whether there is a better alternative for all parties involved. This brings us to the ultimate comparison between Safely and Life360.

What is Safely?

Safely is an Australian app designed to help individuals feel safe by harnessing the power of people.  It transforms a phone into a safety device and connects the user to their parents, siblings, relatives, friends, and emergency services to help keep them safe, wherever they go — without the need for everyone to be on a paid plan.

 

Safely also has options for alerts — some that can be triggered by the user manually and some automatic (e.g. when a user shakes their phone). When this happens, loud sirens and flashing lights will help ward off perpetrators and immediate notification will be sent to chosen “guardians”.

What is Life360?

Life360 is an American app that aims to help families and close friends stay connected by creating a “Circle” of loved ones and providing them with a GPS location 24/7. There are options for alerts for arriving or leaving a destination and group chats within your circle.

 

Life360 chooses to focus on two aspects including, Location safety and driving safety. Driving safety allows members to see an ongoing timeline of your circle’s past trips, retrace steps and stops made along the way. Location safety provides a 24/7 GPS and has an emergency alert to contacts.

  

 

Let's compare the apps in real life situations to get the best understanding of what is right for your needs.

Situation 1: Safety in sudden attacks

 In 2018-2019 there were 529,230 reported offences recorded in the state of Victoria. 30% of these crimes included attacks against an individual. In these circumstances, women need to respond promptly to ensure their safety.

Safely:

Safely recognised the gap in the market that presented the issue of time and ability to access an alarm in unsafe situations. Therefore as well as implementing a manual alert, it provides an option of 3 triggers including, shaking the phone, AirPods falling out or the phone being dropped. If any of these triggers are activated a GPS location and live stream will be sent out in an alert SMS to the chosen guardians. It will also play a loud siren and flashing lights in hopes to ward off the perpetrator. To read more about how Safely’s safety features work see: https://www.Safely.io/

Life360:

If you find yourself in a situation where help is needed you have an option to manually activate an alert. It counts down from 10 and then calls the individual’s emergency contacts. Although it must be noted that this feature is only available for those located in the US. To read more about how Life360’s safety features see: https://www.life360.com/blog/category/feature/#

Situation 2: Safety when traveling overseas

A recent survey of Australians who traveled overseas in 2018–19 revealed 87% were attracted to destinations with risk factors, such as places that feel adventurous or 'off the beaten track' Ensuring the safety of a loved one is a number one priority, especially when they’re not at arm's reach. 

Safely

In situations of uncertainty, individuals can set off the alarm to trigger the SMS to the family from anywhere. An option available is ‘contact emergency services’ This will immediately contact the primary services in correspondence to wherever the individual may be in the world. Whilst the guardians are on the phone they can continue to view the live stream assisting the police in any way necessary.

Life360

Additional to live tracking, Life360 provides crash detection and emergency response for all members in a driver protect-circle. Likewise to the safety alert this feature is only available to use for individuals located in the US. If Life360 detects a serious collision it will contact the members in one’s circle and the listed emergency contacts

 

Key Comparison and pricing:

A Safely family plan for up to 5 users is $9.99 monthly and for 10 users is 14.99 monthly.

With either plan you can have an unlimited number of guardians that can be added and therefore will receive your emergency SMS. None of these guardians need to be on a paid membership.

Life360 Premium is the only AU plan available which is $6.45 monthly or $64.53 Annually. 

Negative Reviews

Life360:

One Life360 rating states "I can see how far away my daughter is every day, I know exactly when to heat her dinner, It's great!"  Although this review is seen in a positive light it can allow us to see why the number of kids facing anxiety from GPS tracking is increasing. With access to location, battery percentage and even driving speed it has been seen to take a massive toll on teenagers’ mental health and privacy concerns. 

 

While researching life360's safety features I thought I would search for it on TikTok (a new social networking service that currently has 689 million active users) to better knowledge myself on its features. I continued to watch the first 10 videos that had the most views under the tag. 5/10 videos were all about how to hack the app into saying somewhere you weren’t and the other 5/10 were all posted by the CEO of Life360. Therefore 100% of all users in the top 10 were negative. The most viewed video had 1.9 million views and 381.8 thousand shares, this video was informing other users how to change your location on the app by replacing it with somewhere you were not.

Safely:

As Safely has not yet launched there are no negative reviews posted by app users. 

 

Conclusion: Which is best?

Choosing the best safety app for your family isn’t easy! Both Life360 and Safely are a step in the right direction to protecting those you love.  Although when it comes down to the safety aspects, you have to ask yourself whether you want to focus on tracking your loved ones or enabling them to live freely by having confidence in their protection.. Unfortunately, all of Life360’s protection  features are only available to those located in the US, leaving its only purpose as a location tracker. Comparably Safely offers a range of features available from all over the world, by only tracking when it’s necessary, breaking down the stigma of safety apps. Therefore when it comes to comparing Life360 and Safely you have two great options depending on where your safety concerns lie. 

 

Sources: TikTok

The Real role tech plays in parenthood. (2018, March). Retrieved from https://www.realinsurance.com.au/news-views/tech-in-parenthood

https://www.life360.com/blog/category/feature/#