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Want to be warned of missile strikes? There's an app for that

Tensions have erupted between Israel and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip this week, leading app developers to look at new ways of alerting Israelis when their homeland is being bombed.

For the Israeli developers of Yo! — an app Venture Beat's Mark Sullivan called "possibly the most polarizing app in history" — that means seeing their app used in a way they never imagined. Existing bomb warning service Red Alert has teamed up with Yo! the Times of Israel reported this week.

"In an example of how 'socially redeeming' Yo! can be, users of the app who subscribe to updates from Red Alert: Israel will get a 'Yo!' every time a warning is sounded anywhere in Israel," The Times reported.

Red Alert is a standalone app that notifies users where bombs are aimed about 15 seconds in advance. In teaming up with Yo!, Red Alert will now also send subscribers a "yo" to warn of a missile strike, giving users in the Holy Land and abroad a more sizable scope of the attacks, ABC reported.

It could be the perfect application for the Yo! app, The Verge's Jacob Kastrenakes argued.

"By tapping into Yo, it'll be simple for Yo users to start getting updates. And more importantly, it'll expand Red Alert's audience by making the alerts available wherever Yo is supported," Kastrenakes pointed out.

But if one life is saved in the process, as Abby Johnston reported at Bustle, the app everyone originally loved to hate might have earned its stripes — no longer just an app that allows users to simply send friends a one-word message: "Yo," without any other context.

"As stupid as you thought Yo was — and in its original use I would have to vehemently agree that it was, indeed, stupid — this is a move that will bolster the use of the very worthy Red Alert," Johnston wrote. "If we have to hate Yo a little less in the process, so be it."

Email: chjohnson@deseretnews.com Twitter: ChandraMJohnson