LifeAware, a new app for the Android OS, is a locator service that allows users to create a network to keep tabs on the locations of friends and family and share their own. Once created, LifeAware provides the last known location of anyone in it, even if their cell phone is off or out of range.
Another feature, sure to be popular with parents, is the ability to create “safety zones.” Once someone enters or leaves the designated zone, the user is notified. For example, a parent could set up a child’s school as such a zone and would be notified when that child arrives at or leaves that area. Bad news for any kid thinking of skipping school! Users can also share their locations with members of their network and tag places they visit.
Not surprisingly, the service only works if the people in your network have Android phones, (so far the only one available is T-Mobile’s G-1) and while the app is currently free, the website admits they are working on a fee structure for the future.
Aside from the safety zone feature, which should be very appealing to parents and perhaps employers wanting to keep track of their traveling employees, I’m not sure there is a real need to know the locations of your friends and family. However, if you want to try it out, be sure you have the permission of the people you add to your network first. Some people will find the idea of being constantly tracked a bit intrusive.