ACTUAL QUESTIONS ASKED BY COMMUNITY MEMBERS
Q: "What if there's no cellphone reception? As in can't make calls, but messaging works?"
A: You need internet connection/WiFi for gps coordinates to be established by the app, and then transmitted. So if that’s ok, response to where you are happens, because the Aura Control Centre will try to call & if they don’t get through, the nearest Responder will already be on its way to your location.
Q: "I was under the impression we do NOT need to open the app before shaking it in an incident?"
A: That’s correct, but only for Android phones. For iPhones though, the app needs to be open in the background.
Q: "What effect does it gave on the battery usage?"
A: For Android phones, the only time battery usage is high is when a panic is triggered and GPS is used. Other times does not draw on battery more than any other app. This can be verified by checking 'battery usage by app' under Settings on your phone. For iPhones, having the app on in the backgound permanently does kill the battery. So what we suggest for iPhone users is to put the app on in the background only when they use their car, especially at night, or when they go into more risky areas.
Q: "What about if the phone has a code? Can the app be kept on?"
A: Yes, the app stays on in the background. Like WhatsApp stays open in the background if the phone is switched off. If you shake & the phone has a code, you will have to type in the code to open the phone. If you don’t (maybe because it suits you not to), it will trigger a panic automatically when the countdown reaches 0. And it tracks you (your phone) until you confirm that the emergency is over on the app.
Q: "What are the main differences between 'crime reports' and 'panic alerts'?"
A: 1. Crime Reports are posted by residents and security companies AFTER THE FACT, when everything's calmed down.
2. Panic Alert Push Messages are triggered by a resident AS THEY PRESS THEIR @HOME PANIC BUTTON.
You must opt in (in Settings) to send panic alerts to neighbours when you trigger a panic. If you don't opt in, the system will not send out push notifications when you trigger a panic. You can also opt in to receive panic alerts from your neighbours, or choose not to receive them.
The amount of data shown in each varies. There is a lot of information in the very structured crime reports format. This is useful for research and statistical purposes since the crimes are classified into different categories.
But a panic alert will show only the bare minimum data: the resident's photo, name, cellphone number and location.
Both types are to be used for crime awareness purposes only. This is very important. Whilst it is possible to zoom in on the resident's exact location in the google map that you receive, and in theory respond directly to the scene of the incident, this is strongly discouraged. This is because the resident will have made contact with professional Responders (either their own security company, the Aura Responders - if they press both panic buttons - or SAPS), and it would be dangerous for untrained people to get involved.