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TheVeganHere - Love this
I’ve only had the app for one week but I am loving it already I was hoping for updates of what’s going on in my area whether it be a protest a fire or whatever else and I’ve already received plenty of that and in incredibly quick times. Plus it’s very interactive in that I was also able to see videos shortly after the incident started of what’s going on. For example there was a fire in my neighborhood a block away. I was notified of it and then a few minutes later I heard the fire engines. And then I was going to walk over to see what was going on and somebody was already posting a video of it. I cannot recommend this app more highly.
Nu Muh - Text messages alerts from users who are also on this is an app
I’ve recently installed this app on my phone and I’ve added some of my contacts who currently uses the citizen app. The issue I’m having is whenever those contacts text me I have absolutely no way to know that they text me unless I physically unlock my phone and check my text messages. There are absolutely no alerts at all to prompt me to check my phone whenever I receive a text message. I’ve contacted tech-support after trying everything within the app and on my phone to troubleshoot this issue myself. It is taking them over 12 days to simply answer my question as to why this is happening. Meanwhile, this has been happening for months now since installing this app on my phone and it is becoming a major inconvenience.
I will give them a few days and if nothing has been resolved I will be deleting the app, contacting everyone whom I’ve added and shared this app with to let them know that I’m no longer using it. I could also go on and on about the types of notifications that I am receiving in conjunction to the area where I live and the privacy concerns. It’s just not worth the headache in my opinion, but this would make this review too long and the information contained within may not be red because it is so long.
Dida515 - Time stamp on videos
I like the app but it would be more helpful if the videos were posted in chronological order or if they had time stamps. I was just following an important event in my neighborhood and I had a hard time figuring out if there were new developments and videos would have helped, especially because the updates being posted in real time were confusing and accurate. Since there is no time stamp on them (unless you select each video individually, select the user, then select the video again) it is impossible to determine if new ones have been added, so you have to keep scrolling through them. It’s very impractical when you have numerous videos to go through. Also, there should be better monitoring of the videos posted (some of them are completely useless). And there should be an age limit. Children should not be playing with this app. There was a five alarm fire tonight in my neighborhood and a young boy was playing reporter with his parents’ permission. Unacceptable and disrespectful. Other than that, it’s a very useful app.
n64king - Interesting but needs more moderation
They need someone to moderate this more. An Xmas parade is not an incident, to be marked by red. Police blocking off the road for an event is not cause for alarm. What is cause for alarm is when there’s a “woman exposing herself” type event and there’s like 10 comments of people being overly sexual saying they wish they didn’t miss it, people threatening others and cussing up a storm.
Also it hinders the app when people post these grainy blurry smudged videos of the aftermath where they can’t hold the phone upright, obviously not a developer issue but it’s nonetheless an issue that takes away from the app. Like you’re warning me about someone with a loaded gun but you’re showing me a blurry video of you waving the phone around in the darkness and you’re yelling into the mic. It’s basically 2020 and people still don’t know how to use a phone.
The idea is good and this is still useful but those issues are major.
Christipher DiCesare - Needs to be able to flip to landscape on a tablet, but great tool
I am working and building a GSOC for work, and while we don’t have the other tools set up, this is a great tool for finding out what’s going around near any of our 68 locations I have to track. My only grip, and its something hopefully the devs will consider is that when using this on a tablet with a keyboard to fill out a GSOC report, it does not flip to landscape. This is a massive 12.9 inch iPad Pro with a keyboard it isn’t convenient to have to take it and rotate it to use the app then back to fill out the report. Fix that and you have a great tool. I like having access to things quickly with pictures and videos. Someone said that a parade is not something that should be on here, I disagree it impacts my buildings greatly from coast to coast and I want to know about it and see it.
So great app, great tool, make it rotate to landscape please!!!!
CityGirlinSF - Please allow the option to report/remove useless comments
While I have seen police/ambulance at the scene of several nearby reports, 95% of the comments I this app are useless. For example, a child was missing and to find more information, one would have to scroll through hundreds of comments criticizing the parents, people giving opinions on disciplinary actions that parents should take etc...none of those comments were relevant to the missing child. The app needs to figure out a way to allow other users to report a comment that’s useless and after X number of reports- those user accounts are banned. It is useful when comments are from people nearby who have witnessed something as to alert other people but this accounts for about 5% of the comments. They need to fix this or people who use the app for legitimate information will stop using the app.
twoarmscollin - Decent enough
I haven’t used any other apps like this, so I can’t say much. However, it’s got a good ui and is easy to navigate. My main issue is that there’s a red bar at the bottom of the app screen telling me, no - insisting that I change my location settings for the app. It blocks the bottom of the map, and when I select an incident it blocks the little info card that pops up. I get it - you can’t warn me of danger if you don’t know where I am, of course. But it’s SUPER annoying not to be able to close that dialogue bar. My issue with keeping location limited to while using the app is not privacy related, it’s battery related. Location services chew up my battery life. If my phone dies, not only can’t the app warn me, but I can’t call for help either! Let us disable that dumb bar each time we open the app. I don’t mind being reminded, this is pushy though. Loses two stars for that.
Amongmany - Fun and informative.
UPDATE: The always-on location requirement has become even more intrusive (ie you can't use the app without allowing always-on location access). One star and deleted.
Woulda been a 5-star review but the app just started prompting for always-on location access EVERY time you open the app. Not cool. Annoying enough that I'm now considering deleting an app that I tend to check on a daily basis.
The developer was kind enough to respond to my review clarifying that they do indeed perform the action that I've claimed is intrusive and annoying. But it's ok because they promise to protect my privacy in the process.
"Hi there, Citizen's mission has always been to keep people informed and protected by using technology responsibly. We ask that you enable your location settings so that Citizen can work in the background, even when you're not using the app, to send you real-time, sometimes life-saving crime and safety alerts. We understand some users are concerned about their privacy when sharing their location data. We can assure you that Citizen protects all user data by storing as little as necessary to run our safety network. We encrypt all data and connections. And we will never share or sell user data to third parties. If your settings aren't properly configured, you will see a reminder to update them. You can dismiss that modal to continue into the app, but it will appear again the next time you open Citizen."
Waterboy330 - Good Idea, Poor Execution
Citizen REALLY needs to allow users to set a notification radius.
For example, I don’t need to be notified about an incident almost 30 miles away from me. I straight up don’t care about it. What I would care about though is everything within about a 1.5 mile radius. But I can’t do that.
Because you don’t have that feature it actually carries a few negative impacts for the users.
1. I am complacent, the Citizen app gives me the perception that I am being spammed because I am notified multiple times per day about events that don’t and won’t impact me.
2. I don’t actually know how close something might be until I open the app. Whereas if I had a radius setting and was notified I would know to be alert right away. Potentially saving precious time.
3. Because I am getting notified of things 30 miles away or further, e.g. Washington D.C. Citizen ironically entirely fails to notify me of things within the zone I care about the most.
4. I am honestly getting tired of all these notifications that are ultimately meaningless to the original intent or advertised intent of the app.
I have uninstalled the app because I am so tired of the constant spamming. It’s unfortunate because I really like and support the original intent. But if users don’t have control of their radius then it is ultimately useless.
Once this is corrected I will gladly reinstall the app.
I hope this finds the right hands,
Staya - Needs tweaking
Great concept. Two issues need to be addressed:
1) The developers need to enable “filtering of events” so that the map only shows events from the time frame the user designates. For example, you should be able to filter for events that have occurred in the past 24hrs. Or even events that have occurred over the past 2hrs. Or even a map that shows only events that have been reported within the past 30 minutes...
2) In baltimore we frequently get reports of carjackings etc that are 10 hrs off from the the time that it actually occured. The app states that “carjacking was reported on june 6” but does not report the time that the carjacking actually was called in to 911, or even the time that the victim states it occurred. Instead, it gives a time many hours later.
Adrock1988 - Listen to the suggestions by users
Citizen exists because of two principals, the incident (the informing and alerting of the public) and users updating/commenting, sharing and recording of that incident in real time. Both principals make the platform unique yet the developer doesn’t consider ideas, changes or updates offered by the users.
An review by someone a year ago asked for the ability to filter the map by time ranges. Seems simple enough and surprising it was available from the beginning yet a year later it still can’t be done. The map is a cluttered mess and any tech who works on the app should see that. All we get is red colored dots for more serious, not necessarily the most recent and pertinent things happening.
This is only one of a few updates that have been shared. So to the developer, listen to your users who know what changes would make for a better experience.
FlowerBomb187 - Wrong area constantly posted
I’ve commented in MANY of their posts they r posting the wrong area!!!! They post crime is happening right outside my place (stabbing a, shootings and stuff) and citizen says it’s happening right outside my place and miles away as well by saying it’s in a farther away neighborhood. It doesn’t seem like a big deal until I seen my neighbor send her 7yr old son outside to walk her dog right after a shooting happened and the police hadn’t found the suspect yet. I questioned her and she said the app said it happened in Woodlawn, which is no where near us so she let her child out thinking it was safe. I’ve even contacted citizen customer service to make aware and they told me to basically kick rocks and they are not bothering to fix anything. Just an FYI, my neighbor has been considering suing about it bc her child did end up caught around gunfire bc of the suspect and police fighting. Child is ok thankfully but the mother is livid. And citizen just doesn’t care 🤷🏼♀️
JiminyJenkins390 - Used to be great
It has just landslided downhill as it’s been updated. Even with location on all the time, I rarely get notified about incidents and there’s no way to full screen the map to see what’s around you. Plus the “zoom out” button makes no sense anymore. It used to just show you a wider area of your location. Now it just centers on seemingly random location and my location will be on the far right or far left of the screen. It also used seems it used to show everything that was going on around, no matter how big or small. Now it always has no reports, green. There can’t be absolutely NOTHING going on. When I first started using the app, there were reports all over at any point in time. Now it’s like the app picks and chooses what to show you. I’ve sort of forgotten about the app honestly. And it’s inching towards the list of apps to be removed for inactivity.
ShannonLGilstad - This New Update is Horrible
I updated my app today and this new version did away with the mode where I could see news/incidents happening all over New York City (my city) and instead gave me “Citizen News,” showing me what’s going on around cities across the country. The truth is, I don’t care about other cities and it’s not why I downloaded this app. I care about what’s happening around my neighborhood and my city. It let’s me “follow” New York City, but instead of a videos page, all I get is a screen full of text telling me brief description.
Citizen developers: you’d better give us the option of opting out of this national news and bringing back the NYC video screen of your incidents, or yours going to see people deleting the app. I’m now thinking about deleting the app because it doesn’t serve any purpose to me if it’s prioritizing other cities. Change it back!
EcstaticEgg - Used to be great, but this newest shady tactic was the breaking point
I live in a major US city and used to use this app when I saw or heard activity nearby so I could get more info about what was happening while staying a healthy and safe distance away. I had it set to only track my location when I opened the app since that was when I needed it. Now when I try to open the app it shows me a fake alert about “four gunman” nearby and demands I change my settings to allow it to ALWAYS track my location even when the app is closed. It literally won’t let me use the app unless I do this. Well I won’t and I am uninstalling it and you shouldn’t install it in the first place. That is shady and a horrible tactless way to try and get me to give them my personal data. Given all the active shooter situations in the US in the past couple years, the fake alert is exploitative and low. Don’t use this app, don’t give them your data.
Yanofsky - Coerces you into sharing precise location
Citizen is a great app to let you see what’s happening in your neighborhood, but I am always uncomfortable sharing my location data with it (or any app). I was delighted when Apple provided a way for me to use Citizen and only share my approximate location. The app however basically stops functioning if you limit location accuracy. Because of that lack of respect for my preferences, I’ve uninstalled it. Coercing me to change my preferences is not how you earn my trust, or make me feel safe.
Update: After downloading again to see if things changed, I now see I’m confronted with dark patterns in the sign up flow that try to coerce you into buying their subscription product. Again, trying to trick users into mindlessly clicking the blue button is not how you build a community of trust, or create a customer base excited to support your business.
Brook linn - I love this app!
Although it’s frightening to realize the level of crime occurring around the city, I love knowing what’s happening in real time. I’ve avoided a train route where a suspect was alleged to have run. Citizens app keeps me from failing into a state of being to comfortable with my telephone on the outside. I would definitely say it keeps me aware of my surroundings. Additionally, the local news has been using videos captured on the citizens app for their news reports because a citizen with citizens app will always be there before the news van. I especially like the ability to input various neighborhoods and areas to stay informed of my parents, husband and daughters areas as well.
jvanber - Great idea, but frustrating app
As this app has become more robust, it’s become more frustrating. There is no way to set a geo-fence radius, which means you receive miscellaneous crime notifications from parts of the city not even remotely close to you. I probably get at least a dozen notices a day or more, and rarely does one occur in an area that I’m concerned about. Way too chatty.
I don’t understand their attempt at following neighbors and inviting people. I don’t understand how that is useful and not creepy. Comments on incidents aren’t moderated, so that can get pretty junky depending on the incident.
I don’t know, this app delivered the most notifications on my phone, but rarely were they necessary to me. I’m basically removing it because it’s completely annoying. It cries wolf far too often, which is sad since it could be very useful if it could be customized.
Busted24 - Good app but...
The app is honestly good, didn’t know how much stuff really happens in my relatively quiet neighborhood. My only complaint with the app is the amount of people who blame minorities for the any bad thing that happens on the app seriously. The alert could say “smoke in apartment” and in the comment section all you’ll see is people blaming it on black people Obama era laws. And also how we have a mayor who “loves black people” (they really use a more derogatory term for black people) and that’s why incidents are on the rise in New York City at least. I just wish the developers would take a harder stance against racist comments as it seems people are free to just call black people the N word and other minority groups derogatory terms and blame them all for any issue that’s happening in the city with no consequences at all.
Louie the goose - New update ruined a great app - bring back the old version
The new update is terrible. It really needs to be fixed. I used to use the app all the time and even livestream on occasion. Now I almost never use it after the recent update. The UI is horrible. Not user friendly at all.
You can’t zoom out of a one mile radius of wherever you are... you have to manually scroll all over the map to see what is happening in the Bay Area. It takes forever to scroll all around the entire Bay Area outside the of the 1 mile circle. No point in even doing it... I want the old app version back where you can zoom out and look at the entire Bay Area and then zoom into one section or not zoom in. I don’t want to have to scroll all around the entire map and not be able to see the rest of the map.
It needs to be fixed or I might as well delete the app. I know I’m not the only person.
Karen in Gotham - Some “Update”
I really liked Citizen until last week’s update—you know, the one that promised it would play better with the battery. Shortly after the update installed, and despite light usage phone usage, the battery began to drain at an alarming rate. Checking battery usage, I learned that Citizen was the culprit, consuming , on average, ~70+% of my charge. The problem persisted despite logging out and was only resolved when I, reluctantly, deleted it.
Your bad, Citizen. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
ETA: Meghan, you’re as good as your word. My iPhone battery performance is back to normal and the rating is being boosted accordingly. Thanks for being so responsive!
FM_M - Heard good things but...
Two stars: one is added for benefit of the doubt.
I’ve heard good things about this app, it looks well designed. All the reports about requiring constant location services is inconvenient; I read and understand the developer’s intent, but there’s enough pushback that it seems they should design to make that a more fluent option, not just keep pushing constantly.
However, I cannot imagine why they need me to have an account. I can conceive of no above-board reason for this, for the service they provide.
I also read complaints that the app sent communications to everyone in a user’s contact list, which is, honestly, a crappy practice, regardless of intentions. It’s never the right thing to do.
Unfortunately, when you take these together, while it’s easy to dismiss each individually as a clueless developer, when you put them all together they paint a very solid picture of data mining 101: collect all the location information to have data to sell; collect a phone number to have a solid ID field that data brokers can use to connect your data trove with other data (thus making your data valuable); spread to as many other users as possible.
I’m going to look elsewhere.
lala81792 - Hateful, Promotion of Violence & Racist Comments
The app is good for letting you know what is going on in your area but sometimes is delayed. But the low rating is for the complete immoderation of comments. There are always people spewing nasty slurs, threats and even praising the death of people. It’s a bit much to swallow. I usually go to the comments for a little more detail about different incidents that occurred near me but instead just see a total Wild Wild West of inappropriateness such as hateful speech, spam, promotion of violence generally and towards certain demographics, bullying and harassment. I’ve countlessly considered deleting the app as a trip to the comments is extremely draining and sometimes so hurtful that I have now just began to ignore alerts from the app. I really hope you all fix this. Especially all the ill will and violence spewed on the app about homeless people. I suggest comments be turned off.
mk92071 - Has Issues
Lack of alert customization is a problem. I don’t care about all crimes within a certain radius of my location, north and west of me is a bad area. I never go those directions. So a half mile northwest from me isn’t something that concerns me. Moving the area I’m notified for hasn’t really worked. I was almost able to set my location somewhere else when I turned my location off, but that caused other issues with the app, so that workaround wasn’t helpful.
Also, I’d love to turn COVID alerts off. Could not possibly care for push notifications on that. These were still coming up when I set the app for only major alerts. I want crime info, not public health info. I get plenty of wall to wall coverage on that everywhere else or with a short google search when I want to check the numbers. Not push notifications, please.
HaringJM - “Always on” location setting change
I’ve been using this app for the last year and a half and have loved having a better sense of what is going on in my neighborhood and the surrounding area. But the latest update has taken things from four stars to two. I’ve had small gripes with notification but overall my app experience had been good. Then this recent update required changing location settings from “while using” to “always on” in order to continue using the app. I NEVER let any apps have always on access to my location. Wether companies claim to keep that data confidential (and actually do) or not, in the age of data breaches, lack of data use transparency, and third parties having access to user data, it’s a no go. Will no longer use the app unless this is changed.
SoFels522 - Needs more features.
I have not had a chance yet to use the app because it’s not available in my location. I got the app so that when I’m in the city I go to school in I can stay up to date on activities going on there and know what places to avoid. Therefore it would be nice if they had a search feature so that if it’s not available for your current location you can search up other locations you may be going to so you know where to avoid or what’s going on in that location. It’s a great concept for an app I just wish it wasn’t made to only notify you for what’s going on in your location. Or even setting a certain mile radius would be nice too because then maybe it would be available in a location say 20 miles away if not at your current location.
LN37739 - The concept has potential, but causes anxiety
The app has potential to be very useful, but it is so basic in its use that it does more harm than good. It causes a lot of anxiety, especially people that already deal with anxiety without the app. It’s good to know what goes on around you, but a lot of the reports can be false or overstated, making it seem scarier than it is. I also wish there was a way to customize which notifications you receive. I only want to know about certain things, not every single reported case in my area. It’s constant all day long, so I had to turn the notifications off altogether. Debating deleting the app because it’s just not where it needs to be in regards to functionality.
Fddggjfdfgddg - They can still save their app
First, I used to be able to see what was going on in my neighborhood - now I’m told to look at the crime gossip outside my area without any focus on events close to my location. Second, I used to be able to look up old reports (at least it’d be nice to see the headline?), but they’ve censored the history. No reason to censor it. Finally, the recent feed fights over what’s popular and what’s actually local - so I end up getting updates i’m not looking for as i scroll through the feed. It’s becoming a small mess. Will update stars if they can make it work right.
lightyearhour - Terrible screening of comments/too much politics
My non-racist comments were removed but someone else can say the n word with asterisks and get away with it. Also, there’s so much crime in Brownsville, NY that I can tell the app decided to block a lot of the calls from that area from making it on the app, to make it seem like it’s not that bad. Too many people being racist to blacks and I can tell the app is trying to avoid being banned again from the App Store, ESPECIALLY because people are afraid to get BLM’d following summer’s events but at the cost of helicopter-like moderation.
I say don’t let people comment at all if you really want to moderate content. If you don’t want people making racist comments, don’t let ANYONE make comments. And don’t block calls from making it to the app. You could be saving someone’s life by not screening calls out.
MBMJangels - Blocked
I am very disappointed in this site. If you voice your opinion that citizen does not agree with they block you. People can make racist comments against whites, Italians and other nationalities and their comments stay on. People can make jokes about armed robberies and shootings and their comments stay on. I state a comment about where are our community leaders our mayor our DA about all the crime on crime shootings. Where is BLM where are the clergy. The people getting shot are someone’s child. I don’t see one protest. Nothing! But when a cop god for bid does something it’s all over the news. There are press releases. I’ve lived in south Philly for 62 years. Our city is a disgrace!!! Everyone has to be political correct. How about all the lives that are effected by these shootings robberies killings. Innocent people can get killed. Don’t those lives matter. It’s sickening!!
Dude0u812 - More and more broken with every “update”
When first released, “Citizen” used to work well regardless of your choice of GPS security. You could safely use the app without being at risk of your location being vulnerable. This is important for anyone who really looks into it, “The Social Dilemma” movie touches on aspects of this.
However, ironically Citizen decided to make their app more and more unusable over the years unless you gave them your location. Pretty obvious their business plan is to sell user precise location and what you look at off to advertisers and who know where else.
The most recent “update” permanently broke the application unless you give location. And not just your general GPS but they require PRECISE location down to a few feet. Must be good money in that data for them to go to this extreme. So basically the app is worthless unless you pay with your intimate privacy. How ironic for an application claiming to care about your safety to actually require you to put yourself at greater risk in order to be able to use it.
I’d actually pay some-time $5 to have functionality of this app while at the same time be allowed to use it without being stalked. How about it, Citizen- got any integrity?
Aryinnette - Useful
Citizen is useful to have in order to be informed. At times i am home and i hear the sirens going outside and i really don’t have to wonder what is going on in the neighborhood because it comes up. Citizen is also practical to know what streets are more dangerous or what crimes are taking place in your area. Also they can be ahead of the news since the members of citizens record whats going on at the scene you get a closer view. My only complaint is that when i open the app when i am outside my home it doesn’t work, but that might not be Citizen’s direct fault but that of my internet connection. I have told others about it... it is a great app to download. And its free!
gemk12 - This would work
How about having an option to play video or go live video since many users like to record an incident just to get viewers. Aside from that I’m thankful for this app. I’m more aware of what’s happening around me than before. It’s great knowing that I can be notified if I’m in a dangerous area but I think having that option would be great that way we wouldn’t have unnecessary recordings of someone’s apartment or their pets thats nowhere near the main incident. If its live or a recording we get the option before doing so. Thanks Citizen hopefully this can be added in a future update. thanks.
Skylark Poems - Citizen app seems to be all about covid-19
I tried to block the covid 19 reporting as allowed, since it is totally uninteresting to me. I am only interested in incidents in my area. Tonight people were reporting gunshots in the neighborhood, and since we reported it to the police, and their response was fireworks, and several other neighbors posted on the app about the situation. So I tried to post a comment relating police comments without any emotional content at all, and the app blocked me three times and told me to read the guidelines, which I did, and my comment contained none of the criteria listed. The long and short of it I deleted the app for the second time. Never again. I’m in the middle of something important and I receive their chirp. Most of the time it is about Covid increasing or decreasing, sometimes both within a couple of hours. Bye
penandpaperpanda - Pile of Nopes
I downloaded this app after watching a typical middle of the street South Philly battle of words at 2am, and also just for the entertainment of the crazier headlines. but like soooooo many other people on here i wasn’t about to give them “always on” location data, especially when I haven’t even used the app yet. scrolling through most of the reviews the update to this didn’t apparently change the quality of the app and just reduced the quality of the service, and their bland copy and paste response as to why is just an insult. give people the option and just make an app that works correctly regardless of the settings. I didn’t even want to waste my time reviewing this but I really want to pile on the low star reviews to hopefully make them change it back so I could actually eh to see if I even like this app
LoveJamieO - Who designed this?!
This app would be incredibly useful, IF YOU COULD ACTUALLY SEE THE MAP! There is so much space taken up above the bottom navigation bar for no reason that you CAN’T minimize. It’s also just two buttons that are ALREADY in the visible navigation bar below, and then unnecessary text that only shows a title and needs to be expanded to see - even though if we want to see that THERE IS A BUTTON FOR IT IN THE VISIBLE NAVIGATION BAR BELOW!! Get rid of the stupid garbage that takes up half the screen making navigating the map impossibly infuriating!!!!
Not to mention if you try to go to your account to see if there are settings you can adjust, it literally just opens a single page telling you to email app developer. EMAIL APP DEVELOPER WHEN YOU CLICK ON ACCOUNT SETTINGS
meechdeemyuke - Needs Moderation and Notification Customization
You can’t choose what kind of notifications you get, so even when there’s nothing going on you’ll get a “See what’s going on in your area!” banner. As someone who only wanted this for emergency notifications, it made me uninstall the app.
The sheer amount of racist and sexist comments on many of these incidents is very off-putting. You’ll see stuff like “everyone is thinking it but no one will say it” or “let me guess, a black guy” plenty of stuff like that.
This app can be cool and helpful for some, but if you live a major city you’ll be flooded with 1. Overall useless notifications (I disabled them at first but that defeats the purpose) or 2. A bunch of racist and sexist comments when you’re just trying to get more info.
Mary*Ku - Love love love this app
Sure, it’s helped me be more aware that it’s a dumb idea to walk around SF, iPhone in hand (put that away!) and let me know what that peculiar odor was a couple of weeks ago.
But I *love* Citizen for its delightful random surprises, like the time the guys were fighting at Macy’s, flinging scarves at each other, or when the woman was dancing in the street holding a hot dog. It let me know the time the man at a nearby BART station tried to assault people using a sandwich as his weapon and informed me when he returned later that day, tossing Skittles. You can’t make this stuff up, but you CAN video it.
cirem2007 - Insane level of fear mongering!!
While it is likely useful in a real emergency (e.g. wildfire updates - the only reason I keep it on my phone), for the most part all it does it hyper-sensitize people into a state of abject fear by over emphasizing the incidence of crime. After a few days of notifications you might feel disinclined to every leave your house again!! This kind of app is anti-social and a detriment to society in that it makes people fearful when the fact is that serious crime has mostly decreased over the last decade or two. Fearful people are more easily manipulated by evil leaders! The predecessor of this app (called Vigilante) was actually removed from the app store because it whipped people up into such a state of panic and encouraged people to take matters into their own hands. This is basically the same app.
Mclovindee - Mediocre Mods
This app has extremely mediocre mods on an otherwise excellent app. The comment sections are often rampant with racist remarks, and when users reply with a combative statement towards otherwise racist users, the reply is removed whereas the initial comment is left untouched. Whoever is monitoring comment sections, do better and crack down on the racist comments and bigotry already. It’s sickening when a crime or accident takes place the comment section is calling for the removal of People of color and blaming their existence on every crime. The anonymous feature allows for these racist bigots to run rampant and spread their hate without actually caring about the initial alert. Either do away with the comment section or monitor it better, these bigots need to be put in their place already.
Seriously Needs Update - Still crashes at startup. Still waiting for an update that works with the iPhone 5!
(Update 11/22) The newest Citizen update now works with older iPhones, however I find that the app does not report all incidents in my surrounding area. There could be a fire or police activity and it won't show up on the app. Also, Citizen developers, if there's a way to archive past incidents on the map, that would be great. It would be really nice to see the activity in a given area over a 6- to 12-month period.
(Update 11/21) Finally. Newest update of Citizen now works on older iPhones. Looking forward to using this app again! Bumping the rating back up from 1-⭐️.
KayEssKay - Helicopter Feature? Thanks for tipping off to criminals.
It occurs to me that if I were a criminal, I would download the Citizen app so that I could have the ability to see if helicopters were deployed looking for me after my crime... I could then use that information to move away from them.
Seriously, there are lots of nosybodies in their living rooms saying “I wonder is that a helicopter I’m hearing?” If you’re asking this question, then the answer is yes. Why does anybody need a picture on a map?
The publishing of helicopter location can interfere with an active police pursuit. Citizen, you should consider removing that feature. It has little to no benefit for people not directly involved in the incident & pursuit.
bluemilkrun - Meh
I had to delete this. I wanted notifications about what was going on around me, and I thought that this was the point of the app, but I started getting tabloid-type news headlines about things that didn’t have anything to do with safety or my area, and there’s apparently no way to customize what kind of notifications you get.
I’m sure that they just want to be able to show their investors some nice engagement metrics, but this seems like an annoying way to go about it. This app had real potential, but it looks like it’s on track to become yet another dopamine machine social network that just competes for our attention using cheap tricks so that they can monetize us or sell out to someone else who wants to.
DHorn606 - Incredibly Racist App
This app is filled with hate speech all over the place, and needs to be dismantled. Please either remove or get rid of the comments associated with protests on your app. Your app labels Black Lives Matter protests happening in NYC as "incidents." They are not “incidents”, they are citizens exercising their right to free speech and demonstration. Have you looked or even read the comments posted on these? Seems like when you report “report” a comment nothing happens and it just comes back. They are hateful and racist and they should be taken down immediately. The people that are commenting are not citizens with the intention to keep other citizens safe.
Is there even a need to allow a commenting feature at all on your app? I see no point giving people the ability to comment on these types of situations.
AssetDiva - Location always on.
I installed this app and then read the reviews when something didn’t seem right to me. The reviews the reviews about the demands that location and other assorted settings must always be on, confirmed it was a serious issue. Thank you to those who spoke out. Last we need is another battery drain or a phone that wakes you with a blaring sound for minor, non emergency activities.
What caught my attention is that the company’s response on the “location always on” issue so far promises to keep all our data collected safe, but gave no demonstration of how they could be trusted to manage this data.
An acceptable response would address where in the Users agreement we can find that assurance of privacy and that the contract can not be altered relative to privacy. The level of actions you will take to protect that data or respond to a breach could also be provided. Saying we only hold that data for a limited time still does not address privacy concerns or the battery drain issue.
Give acceptable responses and the rating will rise. As many have said in their reviews, there are several situations where the software could be useful for monitoring your safety.
S3798262 - Interesting but flawed
I do like the concept of the app and it has been helpful in the past because I am in a fire-prone area, but they made a big deal about a new covid feature that isn’t even showing up yet, although I updated and restarted the app.
The reason I took off two stars was because of the notifications. The way they are worded are very sensational and meant to upset or worry readers. I work in emergency services and I find their updates are a little manipulative and in these time’s, people are under enough stress.
Jonesyrules - Want the police to track you? Install citizen!
UPDATE: citizen has now added audio clips of 911 dispatch. These audio clips can CONTAIN THE NAMES AND LOCATIONS OF VICTIMS! So if something terrible happens to you, be ready for your personal information to be released to every clown with a smart phone! This app should be pulled. What a disgrace.
This app is a tool to promote and spread radical right-wing ideology and track your location on behalf of the police department. Thoughtful comments on over-policing are removed, but when snarky, critical, unhelpful comments about protestors are reported, they magically get six upvotes. It’s true, try it!
Also, I’d be VERY wary about sharing your location on this app. Given its clear right wing bias and its close ties to the police department, your user data and location data is VERY liable to be shared with the police by this app.
Given the app’s clear algorithmic bias for radical right wing ideology, its inherent mission to spread police propaganda, and the level of data it seeks to acquire from you (they want your location data AND access to your camera and microphone), you should be very, VERY afraid of installing what is essentially a tracking app for the police on your phone.
MayorLightfoot - CENSORSHIP
This application is pretty useful for staying up to date on current happenings within the city. While sometimes they may be a false report, on the whole, it is pretty reliable.
My major issue with this application is the fact that it is constantly censoring people for seemingly no reason. While some comments may be slightly inflammatory, spark debate, or show peoples personal opinion, it is still not right that the app is continually and constantly censoring its users. They very obviously are denying people the right to have diversity of thought.
I have had the comment “read a book” removed and was subsequently banned from commenting any further, just because the person was upset by my comment. VERY disappointed with the suppression of debate and differing opinion.
JessTGA - Newest update ruined effectiveness.
Used to appreciate this app because I could easily check my local area and what was happening. There was often local engagement so you would see feedback about follow ups, if real, etc. You had the option to view other cities if you wished which could be helpful for travel. Now you only see like 3 events in your area and citizen engagement seems down. They replaced seeing more locally with videos of random other places (those are not helpful to me) and have no choice but to see them and not be able to pick local. Not sure why the change except to add in apparent video ads with those videos? Please revert back so the app is relevant again.
Alex Vinokur - Love the app!
This is an awesome idea! I cant wait for this app to be operational in NJ! Always wanted to know whats going on near me if I see police or fire activity, no more calling neighbors, app notifies you based on your GPS location. This app will become more and more popular, I would say soon we wont need to wait for news channel to arrive at location to provide breaking news as public will be able to record and post it online faster than TV networks. Great idea! Would like to wish Citizen to grow and I have no doubts it will!
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Mandy866 - Not available my area
It would be nice to know what kind of coverage this app has.
It's disappointing to download the app only then to find out its not possible to use it.
There is also no indication of if/when it will be rolled out in my area.
Athena1408 - Not available in my area/ Australia
I downloaded the app so I could see what’s going on and as it turns out it’s only available in America from what I have seen. I’d love for the coverage to be extended to Australia and other countries.
LoserWolfxo - Liars
You guys said that you will try getting Citizen to work in Australia a year ago!!! Like- we want to know where crimes are near us as well you know.. you guys better get Australia on here or I will uninstall this app
SoarAway - Needs a service map
Why download this if it’s not available in my area?! You could have included a map of service areas and avoided wasting my time.
lycheepies - Not available in my country
Citizen is currently available in Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Charlotte, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis - St. Paul, New York City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, the San Francisco Bay Area, Stockton, and Tucson
Don’t bother downloading it if you aren’t in any of those places.
Jgjimmy10 - Not happy and annoyed
Tried to download it and start using it but since I live in Aus 🇦🇺 as usual most apps don’t work here, not happy
Caity_d98 - Doesn’t work in Australia
It wouldn’t accept my phone number, so I don’t think it works in Australia
Willy Ray Cyrus - Doesn’t work
Can’t make an account
JamespBrady - Not in my area
Deleted app. Not in my area.
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ju9153 - Doesn’t accept my cellphone
I’ve tried every way possible, with the +1, without it, with (), it just doesn’t accept it I don’t know why
Miykogt - Not actually available in Canada
Why even put it in our App Store
WeTheDylan - Doesn’t work in Canada
Says it does but it doesn’t.
allv1nl1 - Toronto plz
as I said
YouTube.com - Not available in my city
Lolitzethan - *BURP*
Your app’s a piece of tihs, Morty
sunflow24 - invalid phone #
doesnt work, not sure why this is on the app store right now if its not available regionally. too bad because my american friend has this and its very helpful :/
Rater774 - Wont recognize phone number
I’ve tried every which way with a one in front and everything else without the one and it doesn’t except the phone number no matter what I try. When an app is so broken it can’t even figure out a way to get new users because it blocks them that’s garbage.
Happy User 666 - Doesn’t work in Canada
Entered my phone in Vancouver but doesn’t work. Says invalid. Why make it available if it doesn’t work.
t13nif - Useless
Says it’s available in Vancouver but won’t accept my phone number. Completely useless.
um_alaeez - Trash
Don’t download it it doesn’t work
Review_nic - Doesn’t work!
Won’t accept my Canadian mobile number yet it says it’s available in my area.
Hemio5ive - Can’t make an account
Garbage app.... get it off the store
The End of Privacy - Only available in New York and San Francisco. Still.
I wish this app would expand to more cities. The rollout is so slow I thought the app was abandoned. It’s been years and it’s still only available to NYC/SanFran.
442oons subscriber - Awful
Doesn’t accept my number. Don’t think it’s available in Canada
EddieIzACorgi - Will not accept my phone number
No matter how I write it I cannot sign up as it will not accept my phone number
Samshabeby - Does not accept my phone number
The app tells me that it’s available in my city but when I put in my phone number it does not accept it, no matter what I do.
Musicbdank - Not accepting phone number
Not accepting phone number because the app isn’t available in my city...
Anthony Gavin - Phone Number Issue
The app would be usable if you could fix the error of it not validating phone numbers in order to use the app.
Darkenderslayer503 - Fix
Phone number won’t work
Devan1992 - Available but doesn’t work?
It says my city is available but won’t accept my number
Kousmika - Ne fonctionne pas
N’accepte pas mon numéro de cellulaire
ChloeEuale - Can’t make an account
Would love to sign up but doesn’t accept my phone number
Queen twice - Cannot add cellphone
App is useless since I cannot add my cellphone number. Deleted and will look for alternatives.
No money is - Fake app
This app says it’s available in my city but my phone number isn’t accepted/doesn’t work.
coeurvide - Doesn’t work
Won’t accept my cellphone no matter what I do
kiarasexton - Wont accept my phone number
Says it’s available in my city but won’t let me enter my (local) phone number. Tried with 1 and without
blairalex - Doesn’t work
Doesn’t accept my phone number yet says it’s available in my city
catvvfish - Downloaded and re-downloaded
Won’t accept my phone #. I reinstalled the app but still unable to sign up with my #.
Dominic Deshaies - Not able to put my number
Everytime I try to enter my number it doesn’t work. I’v tried so many ways
Shesyourgirl - Does not accept my phone number
Does not accept my phone number, so, I can’t sign up
Dudjvyrsxvnkufgvh - Doesn’t work
Won’t accept my number if I use the area code, with a 1 or without either. Just doesn’t work after saying it’s “available in ____”
Nick ireland99 - Wont accept my number
I tried 2 different numbers and none worked. I’m from ottawa and it’s available there. But it won’t work!
landoom619 - Doesn’t work
App literally just doesn’t work
eaflower11 - HELF
WHY DOESNT THIS WORK WAT IF I DY
beckyvicki79 - (:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:
Neat app ever I came to my grandmas house five houses down when I got alerted she got robbed
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Citizen: Connect and Stay Safe by sp0n, Inc.