Citizen focuses on safety by notifying users of nearby incidents. It's a simple sounding task that together with other features seeks to keep people safe in the cities they choose to call home. Citizen wasn't always "Citizen." It used to be an iOS-only application called Vigilante, but the app has received a rebranding and is being launched on both Android and iOS under this new moniker. The core feature of the app is to alert people to incidents and reported crimes that are in a nearby area. When someone calls in an incident or a crime to 911, Citizen can notify people of these happenings when they're within a certain distance.
With most people always carrying their smartphones with them, it seems like a really great idea, but it's also a lofty goal and will likely take some time for Citizen to expand and operate in numerous locations. According to their launch video the app is currently only operating in New York City, which is great for users who live in NYC, but doesn't do much good for those who live in other major metropolitan areas. All that aside, for those where the app is compatible, notifications happen in real-time so people can be alerted quickly to areas of the city they may want to avoid in the event of a potentially danger situation.
In addition to getting alerts about incidents, the app also lets people view live video that's being broadcast by other users, so if someone is nearby the incident but still at a safe distance and is able to record what's happening, they can show others visually so people have a better understanding of what's happening. In addition to these features, the team behind Citizen notes that they're actively communicating with New York City officials to better keep users informed, and once the app expands out to other locations the same thing should happen in those cities as well. Perhaps the only downside is that there is no indication of a time frame on how long it may take to reach new cities so other users can take advantage of the application, though if your city is not supported, the app does tell you that you can be notified by email once the app is live in your area.