Frequently Asked Questions
What is Cell 411?
Cell 411 is an app and a micro social network which allows users to quickly contact each other or groups of friends and family members in case of emergencies. The app is designed to work quickly, provide instant GPS coordinates to your
entire group to the current location, offer turn-by-turn directions to the location and even stream live video
I can't add my friends because they don't have accounts, so now what?
You cannot add someone as a Cell 411 'friend' unless they also use the app and have created an account on the Cell 411 network. If you cannot find your friends using the e-mail address they used to register, you can send them an invitation to signup. They will receive an e-mail message from you so they can also start using the app and benefit from it. You can send someone an invitation either by adding them as a friend or tapping on the Contacts button in the Settings->Friends
How do I block a friend that is sending too many alerts?
To mark someone as a 'spammer' go into the Settings->Alerts
tab and then tap on one of the alerts they issued. You will be prompted to mark him or her as a spammer, which means that you will no longer receive any alerts from them in the future.
How do I get a custom icon or picture on the map?
Cell 411 is using Gravatar.com
to assign custom icons to our users. If you have a Gravatar.com account under the same e-mail address you used when you signed up for Cell 411, the app will automatically use your default gravatar. If you don't used Gravatar.com, the app will simply use the standard logo to illustrate your presence on the map.
How do I create a cell?
Tap on the Settings
icon and then go to the Cells
tab. Once you tap on the Add Cell option, you can give your new cell a name (i.e. My Family) and then tap on the friends you wish to add to the cell. Later on, you can choose the cell to alert when issuing alerts.
How do I send out a Cell 411 alert?
When you open Cell 411, you will see the Cell 411 icon or your gravatar.com icon displayed at your current location on Google Maps. Tap on the icon to open the alerts menu and choose the alert you wish to isse. You will be prompted to choose the cell or group of users you want to alert and they will all be notified immediately with the type of alert, the time and your location. They will have the opportunity to choose to help you or let you know that they are unable to come and help. After you issue an alert, Cell 411 will also prompt you to start streaming live video to the group you alerted, so they can watch your video live.
How to I re-center the map if I am in motion or my icon is no longer visible?
To re-center the map to your current location, you can tap the small map pin icon located in the lower right side of the screen.
How do I pull up the "Know Your Rights" screen?
If you are in an encounter with the police and need a quick reminder about what your constitutional rights are, tap on the icon located in the lower left side of the map screen. It will bring up a small flyer with 5 bullet points and advice on what you should do during a police encounter.
How do I bring back a missed alert?
To review older alerts, go to the Settings->Alerts
tab and tap on the alert you want to review. Unfortunately missed alerts will not offer you turn-by-turn directions to a friend's location as the alert or location may contain stale or outdated information.
Why is the app asking me for my phone number, an emergency contact name and their phone number?
When you issue Cell 411 alerts, the people receiving your alerts will be prompted to call you or call your emergency contact in case of an emergency. This information is for that purpose only and you are not required to enter it into your account settings. Just keep in mind that others will have no other means to contact you if these fields are left blank.
What is Patrol Mode?
Patrol Mode is a feature in Cell 411 which allows you to receive and respond to alerts from users that are not in your friends' list. When users decide to issue a "Global" alert, everyone within a 50 mile radius who has Patrol Mode enabled will receive the Global Alert and be able to respond to it. This could be very usedul in situations of natural disasters or should you find yourself stranded away from your home area without any friends being able to come and help you in a timely manner. You can enable Patrol Mode in the Settings->Options
tab, or by tapping the green icon on the main menu screen on the map. You can also adjust the radius for which y ou want Patrol Mode to function.
What is Dispatch Mode?
Dispatch Mode is a feature in Cell 411 which allows you to dispatch alerts to your groups of friends. The feature is DISABLED by default and must be manually enabled in the Settings->Options
screen. Once enabled, you can operate a dispatcher for alerts. Rather than sending out an alert from your current location, Dispatch Mode will ask you to drop a pin on the map to the location where the event or emergency is taking place. Once you choose the exact location and send out an alert, your friends will be directed to the location you picked. This feature can be used to de-centralize the management of emergencies and alerts and it can be extremely useful for small communities, volunteer fire fighter departments, small villages or other organizations that lack the funding necessary to hire a full-time dispatcher to take calls or handle the routing of calls. The feature should be disabled once used, unless you want to operate as a full-time dispatcher for your groups of friends, neighbors or community.
How do I start streaming video?
To start streaming live video, tap on the purple menu option with the camera icon on the main map screen in Cel 411. You will be prompted to choose the group to stream to. Make sure you orient your phone in landscape mode to avoid creating a video that is recorded sideways.
Why is my live video pixelated and poor quality?
The live video quality is largely dependent on the speed of your Internet connection. If you have a fast connection and a good quality smart phone, your video will look very good, however a slow internet connection or a poor cell phone signal will cause the app to buffer video a lot and encode it in lower quality, leading to a poor quality video.
How do I watch my videos?
Your past videos will be visible in the Settings->Alerts
tab just like any other previously issued alert. Simply tap on the video alert and you will be prompted to watch the video.
How do I erase a video I streamed?
You cannot erase a previously streamed video through the Cell 411 interface. This is in order to protect your footage from a malicious users who may have stolen your phone in an effort to erase evidence of wrongdoing. To erase a video permanently from our servers, please contact Cell 411 Support at [email protected]
and include your E-mail address, and the alert date and time you wish to delete.
Why is there a delete button next to video alerts then?
If you are under duress or in a situation where police or other actors are forcing you to erase video, you can use the "fake erase" button to lead to the believe that the video was removed. The button will not actually erase the video but it will lead potentially violent individuals to believe that the video is gone and allow you to escape a potentially dangerous situation. The "fake erase" button must first be enabled in the Settings->Options
screen first before it becomes visible.
How do I download a video I streamed?
You can download a video by going into the Settings->Alerts
screen and then tapping on the download icon next to a video alert. The video will download to your device in the default photo or video gallery.
Why does Cell 411 need so many rights?
When you install the application, you will be prompted to allow the app to have access to certain things, such as microphone, GPS, etc. Here is why:
1. Identity: Cell 411 needs to be able to make calls to the Google Maps API in order to load map data.
2. Contacts: Cell 411 needs to be able to load your contacts and allow you to add them as friends.
3. Location: Cell 411 needs to be able to determine your geographic location, either through network triangulation or by using GPS in order to tell your friends where you are located when you are requestin help.
4. Phone: Cell 411 needs to be able to make phone calls to your friends or their emergency contact when they send out an alert.
5. Photos/Media/Files: Cell 411 needs to be able to read and write to and from the file system in order to cache certain data such as user icons and images.
6. Camera: Cell 411 needs to be able to use your camera in order to stream or record video.
7. Microphone: Cell 411 needs to be able to stream or record video with sound.
Can the Government track me through your app?
No, Cell 411 does not communicate any GPS coordinates to our servers until you issue an alert. Only when you issue an alert, your current GPS coordinates are written to a database in order to be communicated to your friends. As long as you do not issue an alert or you have government agents on your friends list, your coordinates are not communicated to any of our servers. Furthermore we do not give access to any outside entities to our servers and we de-identify the data after a certain period of time, only storing the alert type and coordinates of the alert for reporting purposes. No names, numbers or any other identifying data will be saved long-term on our servers.
Can I be held legally liable if I help someone?
Cell 411 is an app that puts the reponsibility of your choices on you, the user, which is why we recommend you use caution when rendering help to others or seeking out help from others, espescially when you are using Patrol Mode or sending out Global Alerts. Virtually every State in the United States has so-called "Good Samaritan Laws
," which offer civil and criminal protection for those offering medical and emergency aid in good faith. If you reside in other countries, we recommend that you become aware of your local laws and act accordingly and with caution. A good summary of Good Samaritan Laws by U.S. state can be found here: http://recreation-law.com...