Anchor Alert is an advanced anchor alarm application from SlimJiM Software developed exclusively for Android. Anchor Alert was the first anchor alarm available for Android and still leads the rest in terms of features and reliability.
It features point and click anchor projection using the phone's built-in GPS and compass and allows setting of an exclusion area and optional safe zone. Together with the audible, haptic (vibration) and SMS* alerts which may be used in any combination, the capability to control it by SMS* from another phone and support for running as a background task which allows the phone's GPS to sleep to save power, Anchor Alert is the world's most advanced smart-phone based anchor alarm.
Anchor Alert is only available on Google Play (previously the Android Market). Read on to learn about some of the advanced features of this application and some of the other uses it can be put to...
(please note: due to the use of some advanced functions only available in newer releases of Android, Anchor Alert is not available for versions earlier than v2.1. If you are stuck on an older version of Android and wish to use Anchor Alert you should contact your carrier about an upgrade.
*SMS functions require devices that support telephony.
Unlike other anchor alarms, Anchor Alert allows you to project an anchor position in any direction and by any distance you want by simple point and click.
Anchor Alert uses Android's magnetic declination tables to automatically correct the phone's built-in compass for local magnetic differences so that an accurate anchor position can be calculated at any time and at any position on the globe. These magnetic declination tables are updated as required with the Android system so they will always remain as up to date as your phone.
Anchor Alert allows any sector of the anchor circle to be excluded from the allowed swing area and if your vessel drifts into it, an alarm will be triggered.
This may be useful when you find the need to anchor your vessel close to land for more protection, close to another vessel that is moored to a buoy, or when anchored in a steady wind and you want to know when the wind changes. The exclusion area can be input with precision from the application preferences or with ease by touch and drag accessible by long-pressing on the centre of the screen.
You may also find at times that you wish to define a safe zone within the exclusion area. For example, when anchored in a bay where the vessel might swing around 180 degrees from it's original position due to tidal changes but you may only wish to be alerted if the anchor is likely to drag and not when the vessel has just wandered over the anchor position at slack tide. Anchor Alert allows this too. By setting the Safe Area option and independently changing both the distance to anchor and the drift distance, any size safe area may be set around the anchor position.
Anchor Alert also has the ability to show you where your vessel is. Set the SMS response format to the Google maps URL option and using the SMS alerts option send a STATUS text from another phone, you'll receive the location of your vessel formatted as a Google maps link which can be opened in most mobile browsers or the Google Maps app.
Anchor Alert also has a night mode that dims the screen and changes the colour scheme so you don't lose your night vision.
Anchor Alert is designed to take full advantage of Android's multi-tasking ability. It is capable of monitoring the anchor position while running as a background task and allows you to use your device for other things such as checking your email or taking a call. No other smart-phone based anchor alarm can do that!
Prefer to use feet? Or do you work better with the metric system?
No problem. Anchor Alert supports both metric and imperial measurements, just select your preference from the menu and it's all taken care of.
Anchor Alert supports audio, vibration and SMS (text message) alert options. Any combination of them may be used together and a visible alert dialog is also displayed through which you can cancel or snooze the alarm for a period that you define.
Anchor Alert can also inform you if your battery is getting low. By selecting the low battery alert in the application settings a visual notification with optional audio and vibration alerts will be triggered to alert you that the battery is running down. Once at 15% power, then again at 10% and at every change from 5% and below. Plus, if you have chosen to receive SMS alerts a text message will be sent informing you of the remaining power level. These warnings will stop once you stop monitoring, either from Anchor Alert itself or by texting STOP to the device from another phone.
When run on a device that supports telephony functions Anchor Alert can be controlled via SMS from another phone.
Shutting down Anchor Alert remotely is easy, just text STOP to the device.
You can also receive a text message that contains the latest distance and bearing from the anchor position, the absolute co-ordinates or a google maps URL showing the location of the device at any time by simply texting STATUS back to the device.
Anchor Alert takes your security and privacy seriously too. Only the single phone number defined in the application preferences can send control messages and receive status alerts. Anchor Alert does not collect any personal data whatsoever and except where required by law SlimJiM Software will never share your personal information with third parties for any reason.
Set the exclusion area start position to 190 degrees and set the scope to 340, set the anchor position to however far away your target is, say 30,000 metres (30kM) or 100,000 feet (19 miles), from your current position, point the phone in the direction you wish to travel and press OK to set anchor. You can then use Anchor Alert as a guide to your location, stray too far off course and you'll get an alert, the alert area also gets smaller the closer you get to your desired location (the anchor position) so you need never be too far off course. Make sure anchor tracking is enabled too and let Anchor Alert guide you both magnetically and by your phone's GPS.
Before going walkabout in an unfamiliar location, and after safely mooring your boat of course, set the anchor distance to 0 and anchor your phone at it's current position, the anchor will now be your point of reference. Now set the drift distance to the area you wish to cover, make sure Anchor Tracking is on in the preferences and take the phone with you. Anchor Alert will show you in which direction and how far away your anchored location is and can guide you back, useful if you often forget where you left your boat / car / significant other!
Leave your device with Anchor Alert running in background mode on the vessel you want to protect. Connect your device to the house batteries for longer life and make sure SMS alerts are enabled and another phone is set to receive them. If your boat moves outside a pre-defined area you'll get a text alert on the second phone. Set the text alerts to repeat and hide the device on the vessel somewhere making sure the audible / vibration alerts are off - you now have yourself a stealth tracker! Now if your vessel is taken by nefarious pirates of infamy or just stolen by small-time crooks you'll receive text messages containing either an embedded Google maps URL or plain text distance / bearing from the original anchor position, so you can locate and follow her easily (depending on house battery life and network access of course.)
Anchor Alert comes with a built-in user guide and help section accessible from the main menu, you will also receive free technical support by email for the life of your purchase. See About SlimJiM for contact details.
Anchor Alert is under active development, if you buy now you will automatically receive all upgrades as soon as they are released and at zero extra cost. You will also have the chance to participate in the development of Anchor Alert and have your say as to what features should be integrated in future releases, an example of which is the night-mode feature that was added in version 1.3.2 in response to a user request. Although there is no guarantee that all such feature requests can or will be implemented, where possible a detailed rationale for the decision to include or exclude a feature will usually be given, now we can't say fairer than that!
© 2011 Simon Morgan - SlimJiM Software