Thursday, July 12, 2012

First Aid App Reviews: Android vs iPhone

We decided to challenge two of our main gadget guys on our team to download the recently launch American Red Cross First Aid app on their respective device and then report their user reviews. David's a Android user and Dan's an iGuy so we’ve got you covered no matter which you’re carrying.

Red Cross First Aid App for the Android
Written by David Peveto, intern staff contributor 
I have always been, at least technologically speaking, “that guy.” All my peers in college buy Macs, I have a PC; my friends around me all purchase Xbox 360s, I got a Playstation 3. So, you can assume where I have fallen in the iPhone vs. Android debate. Thankfully, the American Red Cross is more than happy to cater to my needs and have simultaneously released the “First Aid” app for both iOS devices and the Google Play store for Android. I am using a T-Mobile G2 to review this app running the Gingerbread version of Android, so if my phone can run it, I promise yours can too! 

The app provides a way to get emergency first aid information, no matter where you are. Also, it gives you an incentive to learn first aid facts, other than the fact that it’s lifesaving information. 
First things first, the user interface is extremely intuitive. 
It’s easy to use and is very conducive to exploration. At the top of the screen are five tabs which remain on top of all pages. Learn, Prepare, Emergency, Test, and More. 

Concerns itself with what you should do in medical emergencies ranging from allergies and asthma to seizures and strokes. 

Geared towards getting you ready for different natural disasters, with everything from chemical disasters to volcanoes. Clicking on one of the types of disasters pulls up an interactive checklist of things you should do before that specific disaster strikes, as well as instructions you should follow during and after it occurs.

Placed in the middle of the screen it basically gives you barebones, no fluff instructions for first aid emergencies, and even gives you a button which can immediately connect you to 911 emergency services, which when in a bind could prove extremely useful. 

I didn’t expect this feature when I first thought about a first aid app but it's very useful! Once you have read the information from the Learn and Prepare sections, you can open up the Tests and be quizzed on the knowledge you have learned. If you score high enough on these tests, you can earn badges which gives me a great reason to keep coming back and learning more. These badges can be shared on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks. 

The integration of what is essentially an achievement system in the app is surprising and extremely effective. As someone who lives in northern Texas, I’ve never had a reason to learn about volcano survival skills or fill out a before-and-after checklist, but now I know that clearing a roof of fallen ash is extremely important, and I have the checklist done to prove it!

An entire article could be written about this section, but for the sake of brevity, here are just a few of the cool things available:

  • links to download the future Red Cross apps for hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes
  • quick links to sign up for a first aid or CPR course
  • donate to the Red Cross; share a story of how the Red Cross helped you or a loved one
  • schedule a blood donation appointment
  • get the latest Red Cross news, all without ever leaving the app or being directly linked to the appropriate mobile site. 
This is a really cool app and the number of built-in features is borderline shocking! It’s a pretty hefty download at 26mb but is totally worth your time. Best of all, for the wonderful price of absolutely free, all this information, lifesaving knowledge and interactive quizzes can be on your phone for whenever the need arises. This is the first in a series of apps to be released over the coming weeks and months, and I can’t wait to see what they have up their sleeves. 
Red Cross First Aid App – The iPhone User Perspective 
Written by Dan Halyburton, volunteer contributor 
There are some many things we do with our smartphones. Practical things like text messages, phone calls, appointments, email and not so practical (but fun) things like Angry Birds and Rat on a Scooter games. 
The American Red Cross has managed to take something serious and useful and make it easy and, yes, fun. Navigate to the iTunes app store on your iPhone and download the free American Red Cross First Aid app—it's easier than level 2 of Angry Birds Space!
We have our phones with us wherever we go and this quick download will prepare you to help meet a wide range of emergencies. The navigation is clear and the information is delivered quickly. 

Touch “Emergency” in the navigation bar and you are presented with 17 items that cover a wide range of emergencies. Select your problem and you get the info you need to render aid. You will always be reminded to “Call 911” when conditions warrant. 
Many selections provide quick videos that demo how to provide aid—great idea when you are in the middle of a stressful emergency and need to feel like there is an experienced person next to you, walking you step-by-step through the situation. 
The app features a test process that’s interactive and you can share your success on social media. There is also a preparation section that covers a wide range of things everyone should be prepared for.
The most complicated part of using this app was finding it amid my numerous downloads! For which it's worth noting, placing it in the upper right corner of the home page or as one of your four most used buttons is highly recommended. If you need it, you'll need to know where it is in a instant.

Download the American Red Cross “First Aid” app and be Red Cross Ready wherever you are.


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  2. Online First Aid Training Courses MH First Aid is a Northern Beaches based business whose primary goal is to provide its clients with the most up to date first aid training and techniques. The courses provided are structured in a manner that allows maximum student participation and retention of information. Nearly all of the techniques practiced in the various first aid courses require practical application, allowing students to learn and perfect their first aid management using a "hands on" approach.


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