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Ask a User: How Does Wi-Fi Improve My Family’s Location Accuracy?

 

Why Does Life360 Ask Me To Turn on Wi-Fi?

You may have received a push notification from Life360 telling you that your friend or family-member arrived at home or work, but telling you that to improve their location accuracy, they should turn on Wi-Fi.  That’s strange, isn’t it?  What does Wi-Fi have to do with location?  Well, plenty, actually.

 

How Wi-Fi improves location accuracy

Both Apple (for iPhones) and Google (for Android) keep databases that tell them that a given Wi-Fi network is at a given location.  So if your phone can “see” that network, then you must be very close to that location.  This is a basic part of your phone’s location services.  Life360 does not keep this database, nor do we even know which networks you’re near — Google and Apple handle that for us, all we get is an improved location.

Being able to see what Wi-Fi networks are close by also helps tell your phone when it is in motion — if it starts seeing a constantly changing list of networks, it follows that it’s moving, and it can then turn on other location services (such as GPS) to get an accurate fix on your location.

 

I don’t want to connect to strange networks!

Don’t worry, you don’t need to connect to any network in order to get this improved location accuracy.  Your phone will get much better locations even if you never connect to any Wi-Fi network ever!  This is because wifi networks broadcast their presence freely — your phone can tell it’s near a wifi network without that network ever knowing about your phone or getting any information from it.

 

I’m worried about battery drain

The battery drain of having wifi turned on is minimal.  Because your phone is not exchanging any data with the networks it “sees,” it uses very little battery.  In fact, in some cases you may save battery by getting a very accurate location using wifi instead of GPS, because GPS uses more battery than Wi-Fi.

 

How about privacy?

The Wi-Fi networks that you are nearby learn nothing about your phone just by your turning on Wi-Fi.  You would have to actually connect to the networks for them to discover your phone, and that is not necessary for the improved location experience.  Your phone will never connect to a new network without your specific action.

Life360 gets only one piece of information from wifi location:  better location.  We do not see which networks you are near or any network traffic from networks you are connected to.  The only information you give us is more accurate, better location.

 

How do I turn my device’s Wi-Fi on?

iPhone

Android

 

Submit your Questions

Have a question for our next Ask a User segment, send it to Community@Life360.com for a chance to be featured in next month’s post?

 

 

Winter Driving Dangers

Life360snowyroad

 

Did you know that winter storms are the leading cause of weather-related car crash fatalities? Each year, more than 116,000 people in the U.S. are injured and more than 1,300 are killed while driving on snowy, slushy or icy pavement, according to the U.S. Dept. of Transportation.

We know that family peace of mind is of utmost importance to Life360 users, so we worked hard on providing more than just location information: our newest feature, Driving, gives families peace of mind on the road and off.

As we approach winter, ice and black ice become a major concern. Tires cannot properly grip ice, and steering and stopping become difficult. Even when temperatures aren’t freezing, ice can still be on the road, and black ice is more dangerous because it looks like the road is just simply wet.

 

Life360SnowyDriving

 

In addition to the tips we list below, winter is the best and most important time to talk to your loved ones about putting Life360 on their phones and turning Drive Detection on. Whether a family member is stranded, or an accident occurs, the app can help.

 

One reviewer says:

“I work in the medical field. I can tell you how many times people get in car accidents and end up in a ditch. No one knows of these people until its too late. This app can find you and perhaps even save your life. Specially in snowing conditions.”

 

Not only will knowing your loved ones location help when you’re worried about their winter trips, our Driver Protect features Crash Detection. In the awful event that a collision may occur, the phone’s gyroscope, the speed of the car, and our patented technology can detect the crash and will call emergency services immediately. Know your loved ones are safe and taken care of.

To be proactive about safe winter driving, there are things you can do now to prepare for being safe on the road in snowy or icy conditions.

  1. Check your tire pressure. Pressure drops in the cold, so although your tires may have been fine over the summer, they may need extra air now that temps have dropped.
  2. Fill up your window washer reservoir, and keep extra fluid in the trunk. In snowy conditions, you can easily use a lot of washer fluid to keep your windshield clear.
  3. Keep winter driving essentials in your car: kitty litter, an ice scraper, and a flashlight. If your tires get stuck in snow, spreading an abrasive material like kitty litter around them can help you get out. An ice scraper is a must-have for clearing your windows of snow and ice, and a flashlight is helpful to keep handy considering the sun sets earlier during the winter.
  4. Plan your route, and give yourself extra time to get to your destination. Driving safely in snowy or icy conditions requires everyone on the road to drive slower and stay alert.

Whether your loved ones are driving, or riding in the car with others, Life360 will help provide peace of mind this season. Comment below and tell us how you’ve used Life360 in car-related situations!

Introducing: Driving by Life360

Driving is now available for Life360 Circle members. This new feature allows members to view detailed information about how their friends and family behave while driving.

The best part, it’s included in the latest version of Life360, to see Driving, update to the latest version of Life360 in the Apple App and  Google Play Stores.

 

Each Drive gives a detailed view including:

  • Top Speed Know how fast your loved ones are driving
  • Detailed Drive Routes View our most accurate routes
  • Dangerous Driving Events Did the driver use their phone or brake too hard? See the number of unsafe Events

driver-overview-app

To view a Drive, go into a Circle member’s profile and click on a Drive, like the picture below. The information provided will show start and stop time and locations, the top speed reached during the Drive, and if any Unsafe Driving Events occurred during the drive.

Unsafe driving events include phone usage (like texting, or picking up your phone while the drive is happening), rapid acceleration, and hard braking.

drive

In order for Life360 to detect Driving for a user, Circle member’s must turn their ‘Drive Detection’ setting to On. To do this:

 

How Do I Turn on Drive Detection?

  • A Circle member goes to their menu in the top left corner
  • Tap Settings
  • Tap Drive Detection
  • Slide it to on (or off if you’d like to turn Drive Detection off)

Life360 can also send alerts after each drive. Keep in touch with your family, and know when they arrive safely. To turn on a Driving Alert and to recieve a notification for any Circle member:

 

How Can I Receive Driving Alerts for My Circle?

  • Tap your menu in the top left corner
  • Tap Driving
  • Slide the button to on or off for the Circle member you want to recieve Driving Alerts for

 

Some tips for the best Driving experience in your Circle:

Make sure all Circle members are on the latest version of Life360 (12.6)

Relaunch the app for each Circle member

Turn Drive Detection on for each Circle member

 

Life360 is very excited to expand location and alert capabilities to include Driving. We hope this new feature provides even more peace of mind for you and your loved ones. We also hope this sparks conversations with your loved ones to encourage better, safer driving for everyone!

Comment below and let us know how you will use Driving with your Circle!

 

 

Life360’s Help Alert – Get Help in Seconds

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If your family is like ours, you have a list of contacts on your fridge in case of an emergency. But how confident are you that the information is up to date? And what if you’re not home when you need that list most?

Since your Emergency Contacts will likely be friends and family members you see during the holidays, this is the perfect time to discuss additional options! Life360 makes this process easy with its Help Alert feature, and your Emergency Contacts do not need to have the Life360 app to be there for you.

The Help Alert is a panic button that, when pressed, will send a text, phone call, and email to your Life360 Circle Members and Emergency Contacts with your location at the time you pressed the button.

 

How Do I Add Family and Friends to My Emergency Contacts?

  1. Select a Circle
  2. Tap Help Alert in the menu
  3. Tap the + sign
  4. Select the contact you would like to add as an Emergency Contact or tap “Enter Manually” to enter their name and phone number
  5. You will receive a confirmation when they agree to be your Emergency Contact

 

Life360 panic button for family safety

How to add emergency contacts to family locator Life360

 

Keep in mind these contacts do not need to download Life360 in order to see your location when the Help Alert is activated.

 

How Do I Use the Help Alert?

We hope you will never have to use it, but if you need to share your location with your Circle and Emergency Contacts, activate the Help Alert. You will also be given the option to dial 911. Life360 is not a substitute for calling 911, so if you are experiencing an emergency please call 911.

  1. Select a Circle
  2. Tap Help Alert in the menu
  3. Tap the ! button

life360_panic_button_family_locator_

Life360 panic button

 

I Activated My Help Alert, What Happens Next?

 

Once you tap the Help Alert button the following will happen:

  • All of the members of that Circle will be sent a notification to their phones and will receive a phone call with your location.
  • Emergency Contacts in that Circle will receive a call with your location and a text message with a temporary link that shares your location at the time you activated the Help Alert.

 

Let us know in the comments section how you would use the Help Alert and how you talk to your friends and family about Emergency Contacts.

 

 

Travel Safely this Holiday with Life360

tgkids

 

Thanksgiving is the biggest travel day of the year for long distance trips, and nearly 9 out of 10 of those trips will be by car. The amount of travelers in 2016 hasn’t been this high since 2007!

That’s a lot of cars on the road, and when you’re looking forward to eating your fried, bbqed, spatch cocked, or roasted turkey, worrying about travel safety isn’t top of mind.

For families traveling to other families, or for groups expecting groups, we’ve got 6 tips on how to use Life360 to give you Peace of Mind on safety and coordination this holiday so that you can concentrate on not burning the green bean casserole.

  1. Want to know when your family is approaching so you can set the table? Create a Holiday Circle and get notified when they are getting close to your house.
  2. Check in that everyone is where they should be by taking a peak at the map. Breathe a sigh of relief that your family is still driving, en route, and not stuck with a flat tire and no help.
  3. Do you have such a big group that you are traveling in separate cars? Follow fellow travelers to arrive together by adding each other in a Circle, looking at them on the map, and communicating through Life360 messaging.
  4. Gravy? Check! Cranberry sauce? Check! French’s Fried Onions? Check! Uh oh, your daughter is bringing her new boyfriend and he doesn’t eat meat. Tofurkey? Check! Make your Thanksgiving dinner list editable by the whole family with a Life360 List
  5. Unbutton your jeans and let the tryptophan set in. It’s time to grab Apples to Apples and snap pictures of your family having fun without fighting. Share pictures privately with your whole Circle with group messaging inside Life360.
  6. Let your teenager take the wheel and work on his or her driving skills. With Life360’s Safe Drive Analysis, you can see if they picked up their phone while driving, the top speed reached during the trip, and how many miles they drove. With the busiest travel day of the year, this is a perfect time to have a conversation about safe driving habits.

 

Let us know how you use Life360 to coordinate and stay safe over the holidays!

 

Introducing: Life360 Picture Messaging for the Family Circle

We’ve got an exciting, new feature. Send and receive photos with your Family Circle members right in Life360. Share pictures from your phone’s album or take them in the Life360 app.

family photo messaging

How Do I Send a Life360 Picture Message?

  1. Tap Messages in your Menu
  2. Select New Message
  3. Select which members of your Circle you would like to receive the picture message
  4. Tap the camera icon
  5. Tap Choose Photo to select a picture from your phone’s album or tap Take Photo to take a picture and send it

private family picture messaging

 

Have fun sharing memories and staying safe using private family picture messaging, all within Life360.

 

 

5 Ways to Stay Safe on Halloween with Life360

It’s almost our favorite holiday of the year: Halloween! From costumes to candy and pumpkin spiced lattes to spooky decorations, we pull out all the stops at Life360 for Halloween.

header_image_I-love-halloween-fustany-lifestyle-fustany_s-dairy-main-imageImage Credit

We know how fun this time of year can be, but we also know the worries that come from letting your family have their freedom to trick or treat, party, and gorge on candy.

To give you peace of mind this October, we’ve put together five ways to stay safe on Halloween using Life360.

1

 

1. Map A Trick-or-Treat Zone

Map a trick-or- treat route with the family. Create a Place Alert for this area so you will get a notification if your children step outside of it into unknown territory. To set up your trick-or-treat Place:

  1. From the menu, hit ‘Places’
  2. In the Places screen, hit ‘Add’ in the top right corner
  3. Name your Place ‘Trick-or-Treat Zone’
  4. Enter an address or move the map below to the desired zone
  5. Slide the bar at the bottom to make the area smaller or larger, depending on your family’s route
  6. Save the place!
  7. On the next screen, make sure you turn on notifications for this Place

addplacehalloween

2

2. A Circle for Teen Halloween Groups

 

Help your teen create a private Circle in Life360 to connect them with their group of friends. It’s always best to stay together, but if someone gets separated they can easily see everyone’s location on the Life360 map to find them. To create a new Circle:

  1. On your teen’s phone, have them click on the Circle name at the top and scroll to the bottom of the drop-down menu
  2. Click ‘Create a New Circle’
  3. Click ‘Create a Custom Circle’ (ios)
  4. Name the Circle something fun, and save!
  5. Click ‘Invite New Members’ at the bottom and have them share the code with their friends
  6. Their friends follow step 1 and click ‘Enter an Invite Code’
  7. They can follow each other and message each other privately throughout the night!

addcircle

3

 

3. Halloween Party Arrival Alerts

 

Know your children have arrived safely to a party with Life360’s new Driving Behavior. Driving events, like top speed, are listed in the app whether it is your teen driving or they are riding with a friend. To view Driving Behavior:

  1. From the map, click on a Circle member’s picture
  2. Click on a ‘Drive’ to view details
  3. You can see the time, location and distance of the drive, as well as the Top Speed reached during the drive

safe-driving-report-graphic

4

4. Create a Neighborhood Circle

 

Keep on top of neighborhood safety with your neighbors, or with the parents of your childrens’ friends. Create a new Circle, and you can easily communicate privately in the app about location and safety.

  1. Just follow the steps from #2!

addcircle

 

5

 

5. Check Battery Levels

 

Make sure your teen leaves home with a fully charged mobile phone! Life360 shows battery levels on Circle members, so nudge your family to charge up when they’re running low on juice. Being available in case of emergency is important. To view a Circle member’s battery level:

  1. From the map, look to the right of a Circle member’s name for their battery percentage

Life360_iOS_Family-Map_HD

Follow these steps to have a safe and boo-tiful Halloween and to get peace of mind while your family has fun! Happy Haunting!

Children in halloween costumes show funny faces

 

 

Don’t have Life360? Download it now:

 

apple-store google-play

 

 

 

How to Help Your Teen Become a Safe Driver

In honor of this week’s Teen Driver Safety Week, which runs from October 16 through the 22nd, we’ve listed 5 tips on how to help your teen become a safe driver.

Of all the issues related to raising a teen, one of the top worries is about them driving on their own. Understandably so, with unfortunate facts and statistics around teen driving.

According to the CDC, in 2013, six teens aged 16–19 died every day from motor vehicle injuries. 15-24 year-olds represent only 14% of the U.S. population, but they account for 30% of the total costs of motor vehicle injuries. And in particular, male teens accounted for $19 billion of the total costs of motor vehicle injuries while females accounted for $7 billion. Also, the crash rate for 16-year-olds is 3.7 times higher than drivers of all ages, according to California DMV.

The information around teen driving is scary, but there are preventative measures parents can put in place to help their children become safer drivers, lowering their risks of becoming an unfortunate statistic.

teen driver, teen driver safety week, family locator, crash detection

Photo by: Sam VarnHagen/Ford Motor Co.

Our newest feature, Life360 Driver Protect, allows families to have a conversation about driving habits with actionable data.

Under a user’s Profile is a Safe Drive Review. This summary provides insights around what a driver does during their route. Events monitored are top speed, instances of rapid acceleration, hard braking and cell phone usage – all listed at the time and exact location of occurrence.

teen driving safety, family locator

Sit down with your family members and recap what is happening during drives. By recognizing these unsafe habits, you can help lower the amount of unsafe Events, and therefore lower the possibility of an unsafe drive.

 

Here are 5 ways to help get your teen interested and comfortable about teen driving safety by using Life360 Driver Protect:

Five

 

family locator for crash detection and teen driving

  1. Enable Drive Detection in the Life360 app on your phone and on your teen’s phone. By allowing your teen to see your drives as well as their own, you will show your confidence in using this tool for positive feedback, rather than as a tool which goes behind their back.
  2. Schedule 30 minutes each evening to go over your teen’s driving Events. Talk through how Events such as rapid braking and acceleration can be avoided by focusing on the road and driving at  safer speeds.
  3. Provide positive feedback when the number of driving Events decrease. A new driver is inexperienced and will make mistakes, but focusing on improvement will encourage them rather than lower their confidence.
  4. Gamify the experience, like rewarding good behavior with prizes like gas and gift cards.
  5. Reiterate the importance of safe driving. Use statistics in a constructive manner, rather than in a fearful way, to help them understand the effects of habits like texting while driving, driving at night, or driving while impaired.

 

In addition to helping your teen become safer on the road, it’s also important to educate them on what to do in case of emergency. Simple things like fender benders, flat tires, and driving in severe weather can be scary to anyone, especially to someone who’s new on the road.

Life360 Driver Protect also features Extended Roadside Assistance. We provide 24/7 assistance if you or your family requires a tow, needs advice on what to do in a minor accident, or wants to locate a nearby hotel or hospital. Call us by just tapping a button in the Life360 app.

Raising a teen can be hard, and teaching them to drive can be even harder. Life360 Driver Protect is here to help make that process easier, and to help your whole family become better, safer drivers.

 

Don’t have Life360? Download it now:

apple-store google-play

Life360 Driver Protect User Guide

Welcome to Life360 Driver Protect! Providing driving peace of mind for the whole family

You can’t always be on the road with your family, but we can. Below are tutorials and tips on how to setup your account and how to take advantage of all the features of your subscription.

Life360_DriverProtect_HD (1)

Safe Drive Reviews

Safe Drive Reviews allow you to see Events during drives including top speed, instances of rapid acceleration and hard braking, and distracted driving from cell phone usage.

Follow these steps to turn on Safe Drive Reviews for your Circle Members:

Step 1: Enable Drive Detection for yourself

  • Launch Life360
  • Tap Settings in the menu
  • Tap Driving Analysis
  • Drag the button right until it turns green

Step 2: Enable Drive Detection for your Circle members

  • Follow Step 1 above on each Circle member’s phone
  • Each of their buttons must be green on their phones in order to be detected
  • If ‘Drive Detection Paused’ is listed, this Circle member has not enabled their Drive Detection

Step 3: Receive notifications after your Circle members’ drives

  • Tap Driving in the menu
  • Drag the button right until it turns green to turn on notifications for a Circle member
  • Drag the button left until it turns white to turn off notifications for a Circle member

Step 4: View Safe Drive Reviews

  • Tap on a Circle member to view their History
  • Drives are marked separately from trips, ex: “7 mi Drive”. Scroll through History to view 30 days of trips and drives
  • Click on a particular Drive to view its Safe Drive Review. Events will be clickable on the map and listed at the bottom. They are listed with time and location of each instance

Safe Drive Reviews include Events for each drive. Listed below is the meaning of each Event. These are tracked while the phone is in motion in a vehicle and is not dependent on the Circle member being the driver.

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Phone Usage – Use of your phone 

Hard Braking – Sudden or strong braking

Rapid Acceleration – Increase in speed in a very short amount of time

Top Speed – The top speed reached during a drive

Driver Protect features are available for every member of a Circle. In order to see Safe Drive Reviews, enable Crash Detection, and use our Extended Roadside Assistance, the subscribed Circle must be selected.

Crash Detection

Accidents happen, and we’ll send help to you and your loved ones as quickly as possible. Life360’s proprietary system automatically detects a car accident based on the sensors of your phone. Tested over millions of miles, our smart algorithms can detect the difference between a car accident and dropping your phone on the ground. You can’t always be there, but we can.

How Crash Detection Works: howcrashdetectionworks

Driver Protect features are available for every member of a Circle. In order to see Safe Drive Reviews, enable Crash Detection, and use our Extended Roadside Assistance, the subscribed Circle must be selected.

 

Contact Us for Extended Roadside Assistance

Simply tap a button to reach us 24/7 for driving help.

Click “Call Driver Care Support” to be connected to our trained advisersLive Driver Support Graphic We help with

  • Towing
  • Flat tires
  • Lock outs
  • Jump starting a battery
  • Running out of gas

We are also available to help with turn-by-turn directions, advice on what to do in a minor accident and emergency situations like severe weather or power lines on the road. We’re just a tap away for your driving needs.

Not sure if you have Driver Protect? Click on your menu, and you will see your subscription information listed. premium menu

If you’d like to subscribe to Drive Protect, click on Premium and follow the next steps

Don’t have Life360? Download it now:

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