How A Digital Walkie-Talkie App Zello Became an Overnight Superstar
Push-to-talk program Zello gained prominence during Hurricane Harvey rescue efforts, and continues to serve as Hurricane Irma bears down on Florida.
Within days of Harvey’s arrival, the free app saw about 120 people downloading and registering for the app every second. The app runs on a Wi-Fi or mobile data and is created to operate in locations with weak signals to create connection between people across the world. When Harvey hit Houston, Volunteers relied on this app to conduct search and rescue operations.
How Zello Helped During the Time of Crisis
During the natural disaster, this digital walkie-talkie app helped victims and rescuers to send voice messages to certain channels like the Cajun Navy” and “Harvey Animal Rescue.”
This app was used by volunteers in Houston to monitor Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to feed information to rescue boaters; they then used Zello to coordinate rescues in flooded neighborhoods all over the region.
How popular is Zello?
The app has over 100,000 (approx) users worldwide, including in Hong Kong, where it is popular with taxi drivers. The app seems to flourish in locations where government services struggle to meet demand, such as Egypt, South Africa, Venezuela, and parts of the Middle East.
Not just Zello, there are several other apps that came out to be really helpful during Hurricane Harvey. Few of them are: Cheap-petrol-finder app GasBuddy is active, adding new features that highlight diesel availability and help motorists uncover abnormally high pump prices.
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