France unveils smartphone emergency app ahead of Euro 2016

Hundreds of people came throughout the day to lay flowers, candles and messages of condolence to mourn the victims of attacks last night in Paris that left at least 120 people dead across the French capital. Photograph:( Getty )

Reuters Paris Jun 08, 2016, 11.33 AM (IST)

France launched an app to alert users to attacks, on Wednesday, two days before the Euro 2016 soccer championship. The app was developed after last year's terror attacks in Paris. 

The Interior Ministry app, called SAIP, flashes a warning on a user's mobilephone screen if there is an attack close to their location or suspicion of an imminent strike. Users can also request alerts for up to eight geographic areas including individual districts in the capital.

First impressions on social media were mixed.

"'Things are getting better?' The creation of #SAIP leaves you thinking that, at least in terms of security, it's not really the case," said one Twitter user, referring to President Francois Hollande's mantra that life for the French is improving.

"Not very reassuring, but it is useful," said another Twitter user.

Britain this week cautioned fans travelling to France for the tournament that stadiums, fan zones and transport hubs were "potential targets for terrorist attacks", echoing warnings from French intelligence agencies and the United States.