Samsung R&D Institute Noida has recently launched a Walk Mode app which aims at providing safety to the smartphone users who tend to use their devices while they are walking.
The walk mode is being advertised as a tool which would notify you of any danger present in front of you as you are walking, totally immersed in your smartphone.
The step taken up by Samsung for providing this sort of safety to the users is rather an amazing feat and the feature it provides it absolutely a must have. The only matter of concern as of now is whether this app is useful in real life or not. Let’s try to make it clear with the review of the Walk Mode app.
How to use the Walk Mode App
Setting up the Walk App is pretty easy. When you launch the app for the first time, it would ask for the usual set of permissions from the end user.
As soon as you have set the app up, the Walk App would drop you in its main menu.
From the main menu, you have the option of turning it on or off. If you turn it on, you will have a persistent notification in the form of footsteps, telling you that the app is up and running.
The first thing that you would notice after turning on the Walk Mode app is the floating overlay icon which is rather intrusive to the eye. We would like it more if the process were just to run in the background and the icon would show up only when there was actually a security hazard coming up.
Features of the Walk Mode App
- Unsafe walking alerts
- Safe walker badges
- Hide notifications (feature available for Samsung phones only)
- Horn detection
Is the Walk Mode app really useful?
While the concept is totally relevant and can be capitalized to provide a safe user experience, the current state of the Walk Mode app won’t be deemed useful by any means. To counter my thoughts, I would guide you through my initial experience with the Walk App.
When I started it for the first time, I saw a tiny notification icon sitting at one corner of my screen.
I, then, tried to test the app and started to walk on a random Indian street (The app is available for Indian regions as of now, but pretty soon might become available to other countries as well), the first thing I noticed was how haphazardly the alert notice pops up.
I had taken just a few paces, intentionally checking my emails, when I was stopped from doing so by the Walk Mode app. The way it did it was rather cumbersome.
My phone started vibrating and the notification which was just a small bubble earlier took almost all my screen size and stopped me from doing whatever I was. I looked around the entire street for the reason and surprisingly, I could not locate or detect any potential danger anywhere near me.
Though the Walk Mode app is a promising productivity feature, the above-mentioned real-time situation is the kind of a scenario where the app would actually be used. Apparently, it fails to impress at the time it is actually needed. All the sensors it reportedly makes use of should sense an actual threat to safety.
But if the app considers using the smartphone while walking as a threat, it kills the overall purpose of the app in itself. What’s even worse is the fact that the overlay notification the Walk Mode app throws in at the screen would actually not allow you to complete the task you were supposedly doing. You have to literally get rid of the Walk Mode notification first and then only can you resume your task. This would take even more time and won’t be considered productive by any means.
Does the Walk Mode App consume battery?
Indeed it does. All the sensors it uses will require a lot of juice from your battery to be precise and accurate. I would share the status of my smartphone at the time of the notification I had got for no apparent danger in front of me:
GPS set at high accuracy
Horn detection alert
All other motion sensors up and running
Even after doing all this, the app notified me when there was no apparent threat. It would drain the battery pretty fast if used for a longer period of time.
Walk Mode App: Should I install it?
As said, the app is very promising, but as of now, it is not at all up to its true potential. The fact that the app considers walking itself as a potential threat makes the original purpose of the app useless.
Why install an app which won’t let you use your smartphones while you are walking when you can just put it in your pockets anyway? You would save on a lot of battery, you would save on some space, you would save all the hassle of setting the app up.
Finally, if the developers can fix these bugs, the app would definitely be a success. For now, there is a scope of improvement. Something of this potential should not get away by just motivating people to use it by giving them trophies on achieving milestones.
In case you want to install the Walk Mode App: