Emirati students develop Android app

The "HushMe" app for Android smartphones automatically switches an owner's mobile to silent.

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Three Emirati students have developed a mobile phone application to help forgetful people avoid embarrassment in public places.
The "HushMe" app for Android smartphones automatically switches an owner's mobile to silent when they are in places where loud ringing tones are frowned upon.
It was developed by Basma Abdullah Al Mazrooei, Fatima Mohammed Al Qaydi and Shayma Abdullah Al Shehhi as part of their final graduation project at the faculty of information technology at UAE University in Al Ain.
Ms Al Shehhi, 22, said the app will come in handy at the cinema and in meetings, libraries, courts and the mosque.
"It is an indispensable tool because you often forget to switch your phone to silent," she said.
The students' adviser, Dr Said Elnaffar, Associate Professor, said the app makes "a smartphone genuinely smart by being location-aware.
"It enables the phone to sense if its user is approaching a pre-designated hot zone and takes action, depending on what the user wants, such as switching to the silent mode."
Once the user leaves the area, the phone switches back to normal mode. To work, the phone has to be configured to the app, which works through GPS signals and Google Maps, by either visiting each place to save the locations or by logging their co-ordinates.
It can also be used to avert the user from unsafe districts or restricted areas, said Dr Elnaffar.
"The phone automatically recognises that you are entering that zone and gives you a warning to get out," he said.
Ms Al Mazrooei, 23, said the app can also send a message to the users' Twitter accounts telling followers that they are busy and not able to socialise.
"Once they leave that place the HushMe app will automatically re-tweet that they are free now," she said.
Ms Al Qaydi, 23, said the trio would "like to develop the app further" and they plan to publish it online for free.