5 Star Safety On The Move; MadPad

GreatCall, the makers of the Jitterbug cell phone, recently released 5Star Responder Device. It reminds me of OnStar, but for people instead of cars. The 5Star Responder is the first-of-its kind wireless mobile device that gives you a convenient option to protect yourself, especially if you’re in a dark parking lot and you hear someone following you.

“The 5Star Responder will revolutionize public safety,” says GreatCall CEO David Inns. “No matter how serious the situation even if it’s just to have one of our response agents stay on the line with you as you walk to your car late at night you can be assured that we are there with you until your situation is resolved.”

With the simple push of a button on the Responder, you are immediately connected to an agent who will identify you and your location, and can conference in your family/friends, or call 91-1 for you. Since the device is small, you can easily slip it into your pocket or purse, and even bring it when hiking (just in case you get lost).

The Responder rides on the Verizon network, and you can find it at greatcall.com/5Star for $49.99 (or soon locally in Walmart and Sears). The monthly fee is a bit steep at $14.99 per month, but for someone who wants an extra sense of security or has special needs, it’s well worth it. Additionally, there is a similar free iPhone/Android app called 5Star Urgent Response, and the service will still cost you $14.99 per month.

Click Chick’s Mobile App of the Week: MadPad

Attention all music lovers: Smule strikes again! You probably remember the popular Ocarina, Leaf Trombone, Magic Piano and Glee apps. Now Smule’s latest creation is MadPad. It helps you make music out of literally anything with your iPad or iPhone.

Capturing real world noise and turning it into music, you create soundboards by using your builtin microphone and camera. Each pad is limited to 12 different sounds, and it’s easy to capture. You tap to record, then MadPad automatically starts and stops the recording based on the sounds you generate. Once you’re satisfied with your 12 sounds, you can start creating your masterpieces.

A single finger tap plays back your sound (and the video clip), and if you tap and drag with two fingers, it tweaks the pitch of the playback up or down. The app also has a looping feature, which allows you to adjust the pitch and volume of individual sounds. If you’re not that bold yet, there are more than 50 free sets included with the app from pianos to piccolos, silly sounds to sweet guitars. As with Smule’s other apps, you can share your creations with the world via YouTube, Twitter or Facebook.

Sorry, Android and Blackberry folks, unfortunately this is only an iOS app. You can download it for $2.99 (iPad) or 99 cents (iPhone) from the Apple iTunes Store.