Personal safety apps for staying safe

Safely Go

Safely Go app screenshot

For: Android | Price: Free

Safely Go lets you specify three important people that are allowed to send you SMSes or instant messages while you're driving, but turns everyone else away, telling them you're driving safely and should not be answering their calls. It's therefore good for anybody with a car phone mount, since it still let some texts through from people you consider important. The makers also promote Safely Go as the ideal app for 'digital wellness' or in other words, taking back control of your life from constant interruptions on your phone.


TextArrest app screenshot

TextArrest can figure out whether your car is in motion and therefore prevent you from calling and texting while driving.

For: Android | Price: Free

It's been proven that texting while driving is more dangerous than driving drunk. Not surprisingly, there are now several apps to prevent you from texting while driving. TextArrest prevents you (or your teenagers) from making calls and sending and receiving texts or instant messages while the car is moving. TextArrest does it by using the phone's accelerometer and GPS to figure out what the car is up to. We tested it on the streets of Adelaide and found it infuriatingly effective. However, it also comes with an emergency override function, which gives you a few seconds to read an SMS, but with a countdown timer so annoying that you won't want to be overriding it regularly.

Google Latitude

Google Latitude map features

Google Latitude allows you to track the whereabouts of your children on a map.

For: iOS | Price: Free

Google Maps form the basis of many personal safety apps and Google Latitude is Google's own take on tracking people on a map — as long as they're signed into Google Latitude themselves and are OK with letting you track them. You can't send any personal distress alarms with Google Latitude, but you can instruct any friend you're tracking to check in at the relevant venue, thereby confirming they're at their destination. Our view is that when you're a parent you should be able to know where your kids are at all times, and Google Latitude makes that possible.