'Yo' App Reimagined to Alert Users of Missile Attacks in Israel

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Yo is pivoting from simply sending the word "yo" to contacts of your choice to doing something more worthwhile: alerting Israelis of terrorist attacks.

The novelty app, reports The Times of Israel, has been retooled by two developers to work with Red Alert, another app that warns users about rocket, mortar, and missile attacks throughout the country. Yo provides the same basic notifications as Red Alert, but reaches a wider user base than Red Alert (which only supports Android and only within Israel) and its tapping feature makes it simpler for users to navigate.

The app won't replace air raid sirens and radio alerts, but that's not the point, said Red Alert co-author Ari Sprung. "More people than ever want to know what is going on in Israel in real time," he told The Times. "Our app, unfortunately, is necessary in order to spread that information."

The tool arrives at a time of increased violence between Israelis and Palestinians – more than 200 rockets have launched from Gaza, Israeli officials said, and in turn, Israel is contemplating another invasion of Gaza, so unfortunately, the need for warning systems is greater than ever. The Gaza side of the border does not use any apps similar to Red Alert, but does rely heavily on Twitter hashtags like #airstrike for updates.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.