We have carried out different tests creating circles within the Life 360 application and in the next few 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 means of an invitation code. A circle is a group 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 in turn select if I want to receive alerts from any of the members of the circle and select if I want to receive notifications when this person enters or leaves the places of interest. In turn, the possibility of receiving alerts when the person drives can be selected.
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 leave 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 expand the number of common places it is necessary to request a Premium account. However, with these 2 places referenced on the map it has been enough to verify their correct operation and the notifications that are produced when the person enters or leaves these places.
The application has a very functional chat for circles that has a high availability that is at the level of 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, there is also the possibility of communicating an emergency to 112 or the national emergency telephone number.
Members of a Premium Circle will receive an email notification, in-app notification, and a text of their current location, plus a phone call advising them that you need help. However, if you are part of a non-Premium circle, each member will receive an email and an in-app notification letting them know that you need help.
Regarding this functionality, we would propose as an improvement line to incorporate the panic button to the home screen in a more visible way, since we consider that a person in an emergency situation needs to have quick and easy access to it.
The battery level of the members of the circle is presented in an up-to-date and reliable way in the application.
The manufacturer indicates a consumption of no more than 10% of additional battery when its application is executed and after our tests we can say that it is fulfilled satisfactorily.
The driving functionalities are not fully released in the free version of the application. The driving functionality allows you to view the routes that a certain person in the circle has taken by vehicle and to receive flippers in the event that their travel speed is associated with a vehicle travel.
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 or their battery level. In addition, the alert button function is offered so that you can warn in case of problems and easy communication through chat. This type of case that we have simulated in the tests with the volunteer Aurora.
Another of the most common use cases can be parental control to know the location of minors at certain times of the day when it is not possible to 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 members.
At the same time, the application can be useful for the visualization and communication of groups made up of several people who make group trips, excursions or camps.
In our opinion, it is advisable not to use this application to overprotect your children or parents or to over-control your partner as 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 emergency communication, facilitate communication and allow knowing the location of users, but it is always advisable to contrast this information through other methods.
It is necessary to previously enable the notifications of arrival and departure from a place of interest or those of driving in order to be notified of them. Once this is done, we have verified that notifications are generally received correctly, although in some cases they have presented some delays.
In order to receive notifications from 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 of, update the general contents of the support website so that everyone can be accessible in Spanish.
The menu is simple for people who handle a mobile terminal on a daily basis, but we would suggest being able to enable a simplified menu with high contrasts, large font sizes and icons to facilitate its use by the group of older people 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 location 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 that it offers by means of a call or message to confirm emergency situations. In order to squeeze out 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 a reasonable reliability in positioning and alerts.
- Menus and positioning system are clear and stylish
- The free version allows a lot of functionalities and the paid version is not excessively expensive
- Solve problems with notifications in English in some key points
- The alert button is a bit hidden and could be brought to the main menu
- Could facilitate a simplified desktop layer for seniors or people with intellectual or cognitive disabilities