These Six Apps Will Keep You Safe and Connected this Halloween

It’s always fun seeing children and grandchildren dressed up for Halloween as ghosts, bats, black cats, and every other fun and spooky costume idea. But when they gather up their pillowcases or candy buckets and head out into the night with friends or family, walking past jack-o-lanterns that flicker in the chilly air, one can’t help but worry. The streets are full of children and parents calling “Trick or treat!” down dark streets. If you can’t be there to help them collect their candy, it’s nice to know that they’re safe — and apps available today ensure that you can do exactly that. But how about also having a little fun along the way? Today technology allows you to stay connected to your loved ones while using Halloween filters and seeing their candy route. You can even see how many trick-or-treaters may come to your door, so you’ll be prepared with enough candy (and have some extra to munch on, of course!) before your children and grandchildren head out into the spookiest night of the year. While we’re not endorsing these specific apps, we’ve compiled this list to help you make safe and fun choices this Halloween season! Read on to see how technology can give you and your loved ones peace of mind on October 31.

  1. Trtrack-or-treatack and Treat

Price: Free

Available for: Android, Apple

Creator: Glympse

Glympse, a GPS app that shares your location with friends and family if you push a button, has released a fun Halloween-themed version of the app so that families can stay connected on Halloween. It allows family members to keep tabs on each other and their children by showing their locations on a real-time map to any phone number they enter into it. This means that if you’re at home handing out candy to hungry trick-or-treaters, or even across the country from your favourite ghosts and goblins, you can watch their route through their neighbourhood, making sure they get home safely at the end of the night. The app is available for both android and Apple mobile devices, so you can carry your phone around the house with you as you keep tabs. Sadly, if you don’t have a mobile device or would prefer to use your computer, Track and Treat isn’t available. However Glympse, the free non-themed version of the app, is available for Windows 8 and Windows 10.

  1. family-locatorFamily Locator

Price: Free for two locations, or $4.99/month for full use

Available for: Android, Apple

Creator: Life360

Family Locator is similar to Track and Treat. Created by the makers of the app Life360, it does more than just allow you to see your family’s location in real time, like Track and Treat. You can add your family members to a group and set locations, such as their houses, as destinations. Then the app will send you alerts when family members in the group reach the locations. With alerts, you won’t have to worry about where your family is if you’re stuck at your front door handing out candy, or if you’re engrossed in a scary movie. Instead, your mobile phone will simply make a sound to let you know they got home safely. You can even send them a message through the app to tell them you hope they had fun trick or treating! While this app isn’t available for Windows 8 or Windows 10, it is available for android and Apple devices. The free version allows you to enter two locations, so it’s perfect to use just for Halloween, but if you want to keep using it or add more locations you can buy a subscription for $4.99 a month or $49.99/year.

  1. live-safeLiveSafe

Price: Free

Available for: Android, Apple

Creator: LiveSafe, Inc.

LiveSafe is another app with a real-time GPS tracker. It allows you to “walk your family home” by tracking their location. However, what sets this app apart from Track and Treat and Family Locator is that it also has a feature that gives your loved ones the ability to communicate with safety officials. They can send them texts and picture, video, and audio files. While it recommends calling 911 for immediate emergencies, it’s still helpful for non-emergency situations. For example, if parents witness any suspicious activity while trick or treating with their little jack-o-lanterns and zombies, they can contact the proper authorities both quickly and easily, as the phone numbers are already logged into the app. Simply having it downloaded could keep them safe and give both you and your loved ones peace of mind. While the app isn’t available for Windows, it is available for android and Apple tablets and mobile phones, so your loved ones can bring it with them while trick-or-treating.

  1. snapchatSnapchat

Price: Free

Available for: Android, Apple

Creator: Snap, Inc.

The best parts of Halloween are getting to see your grandchildren dressed up in their costumes, and hearing them regale you with stories of the scary witches and spiders that waited on porches with candy! Technology can add to these magical moments and make you part of the experience with video and photo messages. Snapchat, a multimedia app, allows you and your loved ones to send photos, videos, and messages to each other just as you would with text messages. However, what sets Snapchat apart from the default messaging app that comes with your phone is the wide array of Halloween filters it has! The app can make you and your loved ones look like vampires, witches, and other scary characters with the push of a button. While your children and grandchildren go out on a quest for delicious candy, they can send you short Halloween-themed photos and videos of their favourite moments of the night – and you can send them right back, staying connected and spooky all night.

  1. facebook-liveFacebook

Price: Free

Available for: Android, Apple, Windows 8, Windows 10

Creator: Facebook, Inc.

Similar to Snapchat, the Facebook app allows those with a Facebook account to send photos to each other and chat using text or video. However, it also has a “Live” feature that allows users to create real-time videos of themselves or their surroundings for their Facebook friends to watch.  Most importantly, the app’s developers have released Halloween filters for the live video feature! Users can look like witches, pandas, royalty, and more. Instead of sending a short, themed video message with Snapchat, you can log on at the same time as your children or grandchildren and they can see you up close as you wish them luck with their trick-or-treating route. They can also do the same, creating a live video modelling their costumes before they head out, all while celebrating the spookiest night of the year! This means that you can watch your grandchildren collect candy for the first time if their parents record the moment live, and you can send them messages that they can read and respond to while using the feature. They can even post their videos for you to enjoy later as well. Whether you live near or far, you can stay connected and share in their spooky and magical Halloween night.

  1. goblincountGoblinCount – The Trick-or-Treat Counter

Price: Free

Available for: Apple

Creator: Hip Fire

It’s not always easy to estimate how much candy you’ll need to buy to hand out on Halloween, especially if the number of children in your neighbourhood is changing. If you don’t buy enough candy, you’ll regret running out before you can see all of the adorable costumes your neighbours have picked out. If you buy too much, you’re stuck with far more candy than you’re able to munch on (although you’ll certainly have a lot to share with your family)! The GoblinCount app by Hip Fire has been specifically designed to help you avoid these issues. It shows you how many trick-or-treaters were reported by your neighbours in previous years. This means that you can see if your neighbourhood tends to lose or gain trick-or-treaters each year, and you can buy the optimal amount of candy you’ll need to hand out! It’s available for free for Apple devices through iTunes.

Are you planning to use any of these apps this Halloween, or are there any apps you recommend? Let us know by leaving a comment below, or share this post with your family and friends!