Your smartphone keeps you in touch, keeps you productive, and keeps you entertained. And, if you download one of the many flashlight apps, it might also keep you safe.
The first flashlight apps were simple but useful: a screen glow or a concentrated beam that helped you read a menu in a dark restaurant or a playbill in a dark theater, light a dark stairwell, or find a keyhole, a circuit breaker, or even the ports behind your tv.
The newer flashlight apps do this and more; with their sirens, police lights, panic buttons, pre-programmed contact information, and GPS location transmission, they can help you scare off an attacker or intruder, notify others that you need assistance, and direct others to your location.
Flashlight apps can be downloaded from the Apple App Store, from the Android Market, and from the Windows Phone Marketplace. There are a number of free and not-free apps to choose from so take a few minutes to examine the features, look at the screenshots, and read the customer reviews. When you find one you like, download it and spend some time with it. The time to learn how to use it is before you need it.
Note: There are also apps specifically for safety that are not part of a flashlight app. There are stand-alone “panic button” apps, siren apps, and emergency contact apps that are also worth considering.