Recently, Samsung’s Indian R&D released a new app called Walk Mode. It’s advertised as notifying you if there is a danger present as you go about your business using your phone while walking. Safety is quite a noble endeavor for Samsung to be pursuing, and I’d like to say that the company’s efforts paid off, but I would be lying.
This particular app release may have flown under your radar, as so far it is exclusive to India. But rest assured, dear AP readers, that mere regional locks will not prevent the intrepid reporters at Android Police from testing anything, anywhere. I found out about this app today, though it’s been available in India since May. And, being a city-dweller, I thought it might come in handy.
Setting up the app is pretty easy. On the first launch, it requests a laundry list of app permissions, and when things are ready to go, it drops you in the main menu of the app. From here you can turn on or off Walk Mode. When it’s enabled, you have a persistent notification that it is running.
The first thing you notice when you turn on Walk Mode is the overlay it places on your screen. Initially, it shows steps in a sort of floating notification in the corner. I thought this might just be an indicator that it was working, but after a few moments my phone started vibrating, and the tiny notification turned into a giant overlay, taking up most of my screen. Startled, I looked around to see if my phone had noticed something I did not, but I was entirely safe.
You see, the implicit premise behind the app isn’t that it can detect when you are walking and may be in danger. All the sensor data is, basically, a farce.