As tensions escalate on the Israel-Gaza border and rockets fall, those in Israel need to stay safe and those who stand for Israel want to stay informed. The Jerusalem Post's Oren Oppenheim tells us which apps for smartphones do the best job of keeping people updated as red alert sirens sound:
When a rocket siren blares in southern Israel, the people who are affected the most are those living in the communities there, who must run for shelter. But people around the world are also alerted to the sirens – via “Red Alert” smartphone apps.
A rocket siren warning in Hebrew is known as a Tzeva Adom, which literally translates to “Color Red” but is commonly translated as “Red Alert...”
The two major phone application stores, Android”s Google Play and Apple”s iPhone App Store, have numerous “Red Alert” apps. While almost all of the apps show current updates on the rockets and allow users to choose whether to receive alerts from everywhere or from specific regions, each has different features meant to supplement the main notifications...
“RedAlert”, developed by Elad Nava and listed in Hebrew on Google Play and the App Store, actually works in multiple languages – including a perfect English – and allows users to tap on any rocket alert to see where the location of the siren is on a map. The application also has a button that lets the user send an “I”m safe” message to contacts, which includes a link to the app.
This app, like some of the others, offers different notification-sound options, including five “siren” options that sound close to the real deal; a “funny” option where a high-pitched voice squeaks “Incoming!” and laughs after the sound of a cartoonish crash; and “short” alert sound options that include an alarm identical to the alert used during televised Japanese earthquake warnings.
The similarly titled “Red Alert: Israel,” developed by Kobi Snir and available on both iPhone and Android, tells users that “Rockets Attack” (even in the event of a false alarm) before listing the cities where the siren went off. It also lets users comment on rocket alerts and provides a chat function, ostensibly to discuss the alerts, although a glance into the chat showed little cohesive conversation.
"Red Alert: Israel” also has a radio function which allows users to listen to updates on rocket sirens and other developments in Israel on various Israeli stations, including army-run Galei Tzahal and civilian-run stations...