ADT Go vs Noonlight vs. LifeLine ResponseBy - 01/12/2019
Panic button apps for iPhone and Android are becoming increasingly common. Apps like Life360 paved the way and were soon joined by Noonlight (formally SafeTrek), LifeLine Response, and ADT Go.
All of the apps aim to solve the multiple challenges involved with calling 9-1-1 from a mobile device including lack of a fixed location. According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), “While the location of the cell site closest to the 911 caller may provide a general indication of the caller’s location, that information is not always specific enough for rescue personnel to deliver assistance to the caller quickly.” Even E911 is only accurate within a 50 to a 300-meter range. And then there’s the second challenge: 911 requires that the caller can verbalize their location and issue, which isn’t always possible. Panic button apps address these challenges and more. But which one should you choose?
Getting Started and Pricing
All three apps are…well…apps. You need only download the appropriate app from either iTunes or the Google Play store—even ADT Go. Though ADT Go is made by ADT, you don’t need ADT equipment or service to access the app.
ADT Go offers some free features for current ADT customers, but if you’re not an ADT customer or if you want to access all of its features it’s $9.99 per month.
LifeLine Response offers a discount if you commit to their service. If you commit to a year, pricing is $4.60 per month. With a two-year commitment it’s $4.24 per month, and with a three-year commitment, it’s $3.75 per month. They also sell Family Plans. The Family Plans cover up to four phones. A one-year Family Plan is $179.50 per year or just under $15.00 per month. If you don’t want to commit, they do have a monthly option for $4.99 per month.
Finally, Noonlight’s basic features are free, but Premium features are $9.99 per month.
All three apps offer a free trial period.
LifeLine Response, Noonlight, and ADT Go Features Compared
|ADT Go||LifeLine Response||Noonlight||911|
|24/7 Support for Police, Medical, and Fire|
|Who Calls 911||ADT||LifeLine||Noonlight||You|
|App||iOS and Android||iOS and Android||iOS and Android|
|Accuracy||5 Meter Accuracy Within 5 Seconds||5 Meter Accuracy Within 5 Seconds||5 Meter Accuracy Within 5 Seconds||50-300 Meter Accuracy Within 6 Minutes|
|Works With||BMW Connected Drive, IFTTT, Nest, Piper, SmartThings||Garmin||Basic: Lyft, Health | Premium: Amazon Alexa, Axon, Biostrap, Canary, Fossil, Google Home, IFTTT, Konnected, Nest Protect, Point by Minut, TASER Pulse+||Smart911|
|Bonus Features||Safety Assistance, Safe Drive Review, Roadside Assistance, 24/7 Driver Care, Crime Awareness||LifeLines, Notifications, Silent Alarm Mode, Global Support for Enterprise Members||Basic: NA | Premium: Crash Response|
|Android App Download||Google Play||Google Play||Google Play|
|iTunes App Download||iTunes||iTunes||iTunes|
Noonlight is perhaps the most simple to use. When you download the app, you will be presented with a giant safety shield. You can press and hold this shield when you want backup. If you release your hold, you have 10-seconds to enter your PIN and disarm the alert otherwise Noonlight will call you and then call for help. For quicker access, iOS users can use the Noonlight Widget.
Of course, if you’re in a situation where you can’t verbalize your need for help, no worries. If they can’t reach you or if you don’t say anything, they will send the police. Alternatively, you can specifically ask for an ambulance or fire truck.
For free, the app also integrates with Lyft, Apple Health, and Timeline. With Lyft, you can send driver and trip information to the police when you trigger a panic alarm. Using the Apple Health integration, you can choose to automatically provide your health profile information to Noonlight’s team when you trigger an alarm. Timeline is the most interesting feature.
Timeline is native to Noonlight. In my opinion, it feels all of the gaps. You can type anything you want into the timeline such as, “Going on a date with John Smith, he is 6’5 with black hair and green eyes, we’re meeting at X,” or “I’m staying at the Hilton Hotel on Main Street in room 123.” Noonlight also provides a third example when you first start using the feature, “There’s an unusual black van parked across the street from my house. License plate is 123AB4.” When you use Noonlight to trigger an emergency, all of this information is sent to their monitoring team.
While the features above are all free, there are other integrations and features you can access if you pay.
|Point by Minut|
Noonlight’s first Premium feature is called Crash Response. If a crash impact is detected, the app will call for help, even if you aren’t able to do so yourself. The call will first go to Noonlight’s monitoring center. They will assess the information received and try to reach you. If you cannot be reached, they will call to dispatch first responders. Noonlight’s monitoring center is U.L. listed and Five Diamond Certified.
Monitoring for Connected Devices
The second Premium feature is monitoring for select connected devices.
Noonlight currently has relationships with Canary (security camera), Konnected (alarm takeover module), Nest Protect (smoke alarm), and Point by Minut (security sensor). As the devices have different features, they all work differently with Noonlight, but the basic premise is the same as I described above: An emergency happens, the app notifies the monitoring center, and the monitoring center takes action.
What’s unique about Noonlight’s process is that the monitoring center receives data from your connected device. They can use that information to make an assessment. For example, if Canary detects motion while you’re away, it can send this information to Noonlight. They can monitor the information sent by the device and call the police if needed. On the other hand, if your Nest Protect signals smoke, they can call to dispatch the fire department.
Finally, a subscription to Premium opens up other integrations including Amazon Echo, Google Home, IFTTT, and more. For example, you can ask your Alexa-enabled device to call for help.
LifeLine has two modes: thumb and timer. It works similarly to Noonlight if used in thumb mode.
In thumb mode, there is a large icon displayed on the home screen which you press and hold when you want the app to act as your virtual security guard. If you release your hold, you have 20 seconds to enter your PIN to disarm the alarm. If you don’t do so within 6 seconds, your phone will make a siren sound and flashlights (you can turn this feature off). If you let the entire 20 seconds elapse without entering your password, LifeLine will call you to make sure you’re okay before calling the police. At the same time, your LifeLine rep will notify your “LifeLines” (more on that later).
If you choose timer mode, the app will protect you for a specified amount of time based on the length you choose. You can choose any amount of time between one minute and two hours. If you don’t disarm your alarm within the set period, LifeLine will be notified. Alternatively, you can tap the panic button at any time.
LifeLines are contacts you designate using the mobile app. If an emergency occurs, LifeLine’s response team will send a text message to your “LifeLines” with your exact location and the direct number to the 911 dispatch center nearest your location. In theory, this sounds great, but it’s executed poorly.
During setup, LifeLine asked, actually they required, that I enter six emergency contacts. I found the request absurdly difficult. I had to think outside the box and even tried to add my elderly grandfather, who the app rejected because he doesn’t own a smartphone. After finding myself stuck at four emergency contacts, I tried to bypass the LifeLines setup step. I was successful. Though the app states that six LifeLines are required, it’s not a required step. However, the quantity of “required” LifeLines wasn’t the worst part—that title belongs to what happened next.
After entering my contacts, I planned to call them to give them all a heads up. Before I was able to do so, LifeLine had already spammed them asking them to download the LifeLine app. As I hadn’t communicated this with my friends, and as I hadn’t given LifeLine permission to contact them, I was disturbed and a little embarrassed. Fortunately for me, my friends were honored to be my LifeLines, but I still didn’t feel right about it. It felt sketchy. To me, it felt like a way for LifeLine to market their app. Essentially, they sign up one person and force them to sign up six more. Smart, but spammy.
Finally, LifeLine offers the option of opting in or out of different notifications including Disturbances, Shady Activity, Repair Needed (traffic lights down, etc.), Meet Ups (meet up to discuss crime in the community), and other. Using the app, you can adjust the slider to change notifications from no alerts all the way up to all alerts within a 9-mile radius.
The alerts are based on user input so unless you live in an area with a lot of LifeLine users, this feature adds little value.
ADT Go Features
Go is backed by Life360’s technology. Life360 currently has two paid plans including Life360 Plus and Life360 Driver Protect. Life360 Plus is $2.08 per month with a 12-month commitment or $2.99 per month without a commitment. Driver Protect is $5.83 per month with a 12-month commitment and $7.99 per month without one. If you are considering ADT Go, you should also consider Life360.
The features available to you via ADT Go will depend on how you access the service.
|Existing ADT Customers||Premium Users|
|Cost||Included in Monitoring Fee||$9.99/month|
|Location Check-ins & Alerts|
|Local Crime Data|
|Driving Activity Alerts|
|Crash Detection & Response|
|24/7 Roadside Assistance|
|Personal Emergency Response|
|24/7 Live Agent|
SOS Emergency Response
The panic button ability is called SOS Emergency Response. SOS Emergency Response works differently than Noonlight and LifeLine. Instead of pressing and releasing for help, you press and hold for help. If you press the SOS button for about four seconds, the app will notify ADT. ADT will first call you and then call for help.
ADT Go is the only app of the three that focuses on family safety. The app can track multiple users and will share their location on a map. You can also use the app to communicate with your family, view their location history (30-day history included), and even check to make sure they charged their phone before heading off for the day.
In addition to tracking your families whereabouts, you can also create rules based on their location. For example, you can create a rule to notify you when your kids make it to school or when your teenager makes it to work. You can also setup driver safety alerts.
Driver safety alerts monitor for crashes and will automatically dispatch help if a crash is detected. In addition to dispatching help, they will call you and stay on the phone until help arrives, similar to OnStar. If you need minor assistance, like roadside assistance, they can help with that too.
ADT Go also monitors for aggressive driving, hard acceleration, hard breaking, unsafe phone use, and speeding.
Finally, ADT Go includes a crime awareness feature. The app will track local crime data and even show registered sex offenders who live near you.
Where Noonlight Wins
Noonlight’s primary advantage is that it offers free panic button service. Also, if you happen to be invested in smart home products, their list of integrations is growing rapidly.
If you’re looking for a panic button app, I recommend Noonlight above all the others.
Where Noonlight Loses
Where Life360 (and ADT Go) can help you track multiple family members, Noonlight is a single user app.
Where LifeLine Response Wins
Of the apps I tested, LifeLine gathered the most information upfront. It wanted to know my sex, height, and weight (to identify me in an emergency). Though I didn’t like the way they handled LifeLines, I also appreciate the fact that they will simultaneously contact emergency services and my friends if I need help.
Where LifeLine Response Loses
Forcing users to designate six emergency contacts is a bit extreme.
Second, and this is a biggie, when you enter Safety Mode, the app flashes your PIN as a “reminder.” It also flashes your PIN when you’re using panic mode. I would prefer that this information remain hidden.
Where ADT Go Wins
The major benefit of ADT Go is that it protects you from multiple dangers including car incidents. It’s also a good option for families as it consolidates communication and shares the location of multiple people from one singular interface.
Where ADT Go Loses
As a panic button app, ADT Go was the most unnatural to use. In testing, I kept my phone out and the SOS button ready. However, my phone kept auto-locking, rendering the feature useless. If you’re an iPhone user (I don’t know about Android), you can adjust your auto-lock settings. From the Display & Brightness menu, you can set the auto-lock feature between 30 seconds and 5 minutes or you can turn it off; however, the setting you choose will affect all of the apps you use, not just ADT Go.