IPhone application saves Algerian Hostages

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Apple has recently been in the hot seat for its Maps application, which was meant to serve as a replacement for Google Maps but has experienced a wide array of performance problems. Apple CEO Tim Cook even went as far as to apologize to consumers for the company’s mistakes with the application. Despite any complaints with the Maps app, a recent story of navigational prowess demonstrated how useful the iPhone can be in a tricky situation.

The New York Times reported on the experience of Liviu Floria, a Romanian gas worker who found himself in an hostage situation at an Algerian BP facility in January. An attack on the facility began in the morning when men with assault rifles arrived and began shooting guards positioned at the entrance. Floria and seven co-workers hid from the hostage-takers for nearly two days before deciding that their best chance at surviving would be to climb the facility fence and make a run for it.

“They left around 2 a.m. for what became a harrowing desert trek, guided only by the flickering flame atop a gas well in the distance and a compass application on Mr. Floria’s iPhone,” the Times’ Nicholas Kulish wrote. He later added, “In their haste to escape several of the men, including Mr. Floria, had not thought about supplies, and the group had only four bottles of water for the eight of them. Fortunately, the iPhone app worked without a cellular signal. They walked over barren terrain of sand and rocks and small hills, from about 2 a.m. until the late afternoon with only short breaks.”

In a recent article for The Atlantic Wire, contributor Alexander Abad-Santos noted that while there might not seem to be many desert locations where an iPhone would get a signal, the device’s native Compass application is able to work without a connection and may have saved these men’s lives that day.

While we certainly hope that none of our readers ever find themselves in a hostage situation at a remote desert location, this story could support the claim that there really is an app for everything these days. Keep your device up to date and make sure the Compass app continues to work throughout the years with iResQ’s iPhone repair services.

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