In this day and age, privacy is more important than it has ever been. In the context of mobile apps, we’re often forced to choose between convenience and privacy, especially when it comes to location services capable of triangulating our exact location. With that in mind, Google just debuted Trusted Contacts, an Android app designed to enable users to share their location with people they trust in a swift and secure manner. As Google put it, Trusted Contacts is “a personal safety app,” i.e. a solution for helping people locate one another in cases of emergency.
The concept of Trusted Contacts is relatively straightforward. Once two or more people install the app, they can add each other as trusted contacts, after which the app will allow them to request each other’s location at any time. As you may have guessed from this description, Google’s latest mobile offering is not a parental control app for locating your underage children, at least not primarily. Namely, the location sharing feature not only works both ways, but users can even manually deny requests for location at any time. In other words, if you want a tool to keep track of your kids at all times without any interruption, you’ll have to look elsewhere. On the other hand, if you just want to have an emergency location service for your family and friends, Trusted Contacts may be right up your alley.
Google’s latest Android app automatically shares your location upon request if the party receiving the location request doesn’t respond within a set time frame which is five minutes by default. Furthermore, the app will even work when your device is offline or powered off, and if necessary, a user can proactively share their location with a trusted contact. In addition to that, Trusted Contacts can see each other’s general activity records, e.g. when were they last using their phone and how their phone battery is holding up. Overall, this is an app for people who want to take precautions in cases of emergency.
Trusted Contacts can be downloaded from the Google Play Store free of charge. The app features zero advertising and in-app purchases and is compatible with most smartphones running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and up.