Trusted Contacts is a personal safety app that opens a direct line of sharing between you and your loved ones.
When there is an emergency, it’s not always easy to notify people that you are safe. Google knows that, so Google created a new app that can automatically share your status and location with friends or loved ones, names Trusted Contacts. It is available on Android and will soon be available on iOS devices.
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When you get and install this app, you can sync some of your contacts as “trusted.” Then you’ll be able to send your location to a trusted contact or ask for their location. The whole app is built around the “emergency” use case. When someone asks for your location, you’ll get a full screen pop up allowing you to approve or deny the request. You only have five minutes to do this, though—after five minutes, your location will be shared automatically. The idea is that if you’re unable to use your phone, your trusted contacts will still be able to find you.
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This functionality already existed in Google Latitude, a contact location app that has been built into Google Maps for several years. After the Google+ came out, Latitude was killed in favour of a location solution baked into the social network called “Google+ Location Sharing.” Now again the new app came which might bring some good features than Google+ Location.
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This new app Trusted Contacts isn’t quite a replacement for Google+ Location, though, since there’s no “always-on” location sharing mode. You can only see someone’s location when they share it with you, with a maximum of 24 hours per location-sharing session. Google says the app is great for having someone “virtually walk you home if you feel unsafe, “but it doesn’t quite seem aimed at everyday logistics like” when you will be home for dinner?”
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The app works using a Google Account, and using Trusted Contacts means you’ll also have to have Google Location History turned on. If a phone is offline, this feature lets people see your “last known location” according to Google, but like with Google Maps, it also means you’re sending your location data to Google all the time.
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