Military Community Awareness-Digital (MCA-D) introduces OPERATION REACH OUT, a smartphone app aimed at preventing suicide among military personnel and veterans. Developed by a team of suicide prevention experts, under the supervision of the primary author, Lawrence Shapiro, Ph.D., the app is available free on the iTunes App Store and the Android Market.
OPERATION REACH OUT is designed to:
- Encourage people to reach out for help when they are having suicidal thoughts.
- Help those who are concerned about family members, spouses, or fellow service members who may be suicidal.
- Provide a personal contact help center.
- Provide activities to help people who are depressed stay connected to others.
Operation Reach Out is part of MCA-D’s effort to provide timely and effective support and guidance for military families.
Free Mobile App available now on iTunes and the Android Market
Mobile App Reviews
Small, fast, and fully-featured; USAA’s mobile app fits a lot of content in a small screen. Access your accounts with one tap with the convenient “Quick Logon.” It has your standard features: transfer funds, pay bills, check balances, but also offers more advanced features such as mobile deposits and claims assistance. I was pleasantly surprised to find a search option for houses (rent or purchase), cars, and home/automobile insurance.
A nice suite of tools include a service location feature (with auto-locator), loan calculator, an insurance estimate tool, and even a taxi locator. If for some reason you want to mix your banking with your social networking you can logon to your Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube account from the app.
The standard version of this app was obviously made for the iPod, the full screen view offers fuzzy characters and a “stretched” look. There is an iPad version that makes full use of the iPads bigger screen but for some reason several of the tools offered in the standard version are missing from the iPad app. For basic features on a bigger screen, the iPad version is that way to go, but the standard version has more to offer, though you may have to squint to see it all.
Soldier Bear StoryChimes is a charming interactive storybook for young children whose parents are deployed. “Billy’s” dad (The “Commander”) is being deployed, but he gives Billy a teddy bear soldier named “Sarge.” Sarge and Billy are inseparable through work and play. Soldier Bear Story does a great job of delivering the simple but clear message that even though it’s hard waiting for his dad to return, Billy and Sarge can do it because they are “tough.” The art style is bright and friendly and the presentation is strong throughout. Some of the looks on Sarge’s face are so expressive that they really make him a stand-out.
This easy-to-read interactive story is just the right length for young readers. Quick and to-the-point, they won’t be losing interest halfway through. You can read along with the narrator or turn the narration off and just read through at your own pace. A page index let’s you jump to any part of the story, but with such a short story, I’m not sure you’ll have much need for it.
Other features include a short “Flash Card” quiz about the story. A neat feature, but offering only a few questions, you’ll be done before you’ve really begun. The “Matching Card” mini-game offers more replay ability; it is a classic game of “Concentration” featuring images from the story. My kids played several games and still wanted more.
All in all this is a well presented story with a positive message that is delivered with charm and doesn’t overstay its welcome.
The US Army News and Information mobile app offers a wealth of interesting information. The sheer number of articles available is amazing, with stories from all over the globe, from current events to “This Day in History.” Most stories open “in-app” but a few made me open a separate web-page and, for some reason, the Europe category was empty when I viewed it (maybe nothing happened in Europe that day?)
In addition to news stories there are photos to view as well as videos to watch. The photos look low res in thumbnail menu, but once selected are displayed crisp and clear. I wish there was some description about the photos. Where were they taken? When? Of whom? Who is jumping out of that plane, and why? The app offers literally hundred of videos. All the videos I viewed loaded fast and looked clear and clean, even when expanded to full screen.
A simple but fun little puzzle block game (think Tetris, but more basic) is a good way to pass the time. Be sure to check out the “Tile History” if you want to brush up on your emblems. Social networking is nicely integrated so you can recommend your favorite articles, images, and videos to your friends on Twitter and Facebook. The “More” button could just as well be labeled “Information” because if offers a lot. This is one little app that offers a lot of content.View in iTunes
Category: NewsUpdated: Mar 28, 2010
Size: 8.4 MB
Seller: US Department of the Army
© Property of the US Army
Rated 12+ for the following:
Infrequent/Mild Realistic Violence
Infrequent/Mild Alcohol, Tobacco, or Drug Use or References
Infrequent/Mild Mature/Suggestive Themes
The Navy Federal Credit Union mobile banking app gives you what you would expect. You can find service locations, check your accounts, make payments and transfers, and check current rates (saving, mortgage, etc.). There are your standard tools; loan calculators, a currency converter, and for some reason, a tip calculator. There isn’t much more to it. Besides being pretty bare bones, the app was designed for the iPod so you have to expand the app to use the full screen. If you are a member of NFCU, this will give you what you need but not much else.
The default percentage on the tip calculator is 12%. NFCU is just as generous with their mobile app offering.
Need a haircut in Texas? A meal in Kansas? Or how about a hotel in Hawaii? Military Traveler can help point you in the right direction. Open this app and it immediately presents a map of the US with pins representing military bases. Scroll in for a detailed, local street map or pan out to view a US or world map. But don’t bother searching for overseas locations, Military Traveler only covers the 50 states. But it covers them well. Search by state, and you’ll get a list of all the bases in that state. Search by base name and you’ll be offered categories to choose from. Shops, hospitals, day care, houses of worship, base and duty offices, restaurants, hotels, doctors, you name it, if the base has it, Military Traveler lists it.
Establishment information offers reviews, photos, and contact information. You can post a review, rate a location, upload pictures, and send recommendations to a friend. While those are nice features, in my time with this app I found very few ratings or reviews and not one photo. A lack of base specific maps and no directions for off-base locations is unfortunate, but the basic address and contact information is there.
All in all, this app has breadth, but not much depth of information. Military Traveler can help you decide where you want to go, but you may need your GPS to tell you how to get there.