Friday, July 29, 2011

With Moby, No One Is Lost

Divide and conquer isn't just a battle maneuver - in my family, it's the only way we can get everything accomplished that we need to do. Whether it's being on opposite sides of town, with me grocery shopping while Aaron picks the kids up from camp, or just on opposite sides of the zoo with each of us entertaining one child we often find ourselves apart from each other.

So how do we keep in touch? Our phones, of course. And there's nothing more frustrating than trying to get an update on where your spouse is only to get a voicemail message because he can't hear the phone or can't answer it at the moment. Those are the moments when I think, "Just SHOW me where you are!"

Well, now that's possible with the Moby app for iPhone.

Moby is a private location sharing service that lets you stay in touch with friends and family without having to call or send a text. You can share your location with a select group, check in at a particular location, or even send out a request for help. Even if another person doesn't have the Moby app, you can still send them updates on your location.

While some location sharing services allow anyone to see where you are, Moby is completely private, allowing you to control exactly who can see your location.

Hey look, there's my husband.

There are so many uses for this app. Parents of teenagers can have their teens check in when out late to make sure everything is OK without that embarrassing call to mom. When meeting friends, you now no longer have to search when your friends say they're at a restaurant you've never heard of - you can simply see their location and know exactly how to get to them. (Assuming you can read a map, of course.)

For us, it's most useful when we're at the same place. Our two daughters are night and day, which often leaves us taking one kid each to a different location. This app is perfect for checking in so we know where the other pair is and can find them quickly if needed.

Moby works best if all family members have the app downloaded to their iPhone, but anyone can benefit from it as long as one family member has the app on their device and others have access to email. The family member who has the Moby app can share their location with any other family member (whether or not they have the app) and the other person can receive messages from you via email.

Downside: At the moment, Moby is only available for iPhone and iPad users. But fear not - an Android version should be launching in the next month or two! Android users can get on the waitlist to be notified when it's available.

Final thoughts: I do like the Moby app. It is a little hard on battery life, but a new version should be released soon to deal with that flaw. I'm hoping I can convince friends at BlogHer to download it so we can keep track of each other at the conference next week!

Full disclosure: I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Moby and received a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.

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