A firefighter battles a Christmas night brush fire in Simi Valley, California
early December 26, 2013. Strong winds helped the brush fire burn along Santa Susana Pass Rd, just west of Rocky Peak, south of the 118 freeway. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, according to local media. REUTERS/Gene Blevins
Australia's State of Victoria Department of Justice (DOJ) has just unveiled its new FireReady mobile phone app in early Dec. 2013 but some critics say that its performance is poor and not at par with their expectations. It reportedly had a lot issues that hindered it from working properly.
According to the Herald Sun, the FireReady mobile phone app was given the lowest score by 104 reviewers, including HTC One and Android users. It had to be removed from iTunes and GooglePlay because of the low ratings.
A lot of HTC One users complained that the FireReady mobile phone app didn't work at all and only showed a blank screen.
The FireReady app's Web site confirmed the HTC One issue and released the following statement:
"We're currently working on a solution for (the HTC One) issue, and will provide advice through the FAQ section as soon as we have an update," read the statement on the FireReady mobile phone app Web site.
Some users commented on the bad timing of the update.
"Come on guys ... right at the start of fire season? Could of done some handset tests before launch. This is shocking," said Ian Tyler in the Herald Sun report.
And, a number of reviewers even preferred the old version of the FireReady mobile phone app.
Fire Services Commissioner Craig Lapsley was quick to defend the DOJ's FireReady mobile phone app. He suggests that maybe some users do not have the notifications in their phones turned on that's why it's not working as well as they hoped it would.
If users receive a message on their phones that say "registration failed," after they downloaded the FireReady mobile phone app, then it means that their notifications are turned off. They simply have to turn it on.
"Victorians like the original FireReady app and many users have already told us they like the new look and design," said Lapsley in the Herald Sun report.
"But we're happy to hear any feedback and we'll update the app as needed to make sure we provide the best possible digital information service to the community." he added.
The DOJ's new FireReady app aims to provide users with bushfire warnings and information. It can be used on iOS and Android phones, particularly an iPhone 4 or a newer version and an Android phone that was released after Feb. 2011. Click HERE to learn more about it and find out how to fix the other issues that prevent it from working properly on your phone.
Australia's State of Victoria Reveals Plans for FireReady app and Emergency Web site for Important Fire Alerts (Click HERE)
To contact the editor, e-mail: