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iWitness

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Nobody to walk you back to your hotel or car after dark? This personal safety app may offer some peace of mind.

» Available for: iOS, Android

» Cost: $2.99 per month, $29.99 per year

» What it does: It connects to emergency services and records your whereabouts. It is set up to work in 146 countries. International users can select the region, and the app automatically localizes to the emergency equivalent of 911.

» What’s hot: Although there’s no substitute for common sense and being street-smart, having immediate access to a 911 call and a record of your situation add a second layer of personal security. Arm the iWitness app, and at the touch of a button or the screen, or by shaking the phone, you can call 911. The app also enables you to record a video of your predicament (for five minutes).

» What’s not: Be careful with the 911 feature if you’re testing the app. Once it’s armed, all it takes is a touch of the screen. When I tried to close out of the app, the "calling 911" alarm sounded. Luckily, you have five seconds to cancel if it’s not a real emergency.

» Worth it: I put this app in the most-used area of my phone. Even if you use it only once, it could be a lifesaver.

Jen Leo, Los Angeles Times

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