Google launches Trusted Contacts app

Google has just launched its Trusted Contacts app, which has been designed to allow friends and family to find you, in the case of an emergency.

 

Trusted Contacts

The new Trusted Contacts app lets you stay connected with family, vulnerable family members, siblings and important contacts. The app can be downloaded for free from the Google Play Store and will only take up a tiny 5.5MB of your phone’s internal memory. Anyone using Android 4.1 and up can download the app.

 

How Trusted Contacts work

 

Google’s Trusted Contacts apps works in both directions:

 

1. If family members are worried about you, then they can ask for your location

2. If you need help then you can send out a help needed alert with your location

 

Under the first scenario, if you are unable to respond to the location request within five minutes, then your last know location will be shared. If you do not wish to share your location, then you can choose not to but the family member will at least be assured that you are okay.

 

Under the second scenario, you can hit the red alert button and either select specific trusted contacts or send an immediate alert, which immediately shares your location with all trusted contacts.

 

Trusted Contacts app

 

With Trusted Contacts, your location is kept private, until you decide to share it or one of your trusted contacts requests it. Your location is shown on a map within the app and this also gives the option to show the location using Google Maps, which can be used for navigation.

 

Following an activation, Trusted Contacts will share your location for 24 hours or until you decide to stop sharing your location. You can also check up on loved ones by seeing if their phone has detected movement recently or if their battery is low or empty.

 

Alternatives to Trusted Contacts

 

There are a number of alternatives to Trusted Contacts and here we highlight two that are at opposite ends of the scale, in terms of functionality.

 

Google’s Google+ app gives a very light experience by heading to the side menu and then tapping Locations. This opens a map of the world and you can see the location of all of your contacts who share their location with you. There is no alert service but some may find that this level of service is all that they need.

 

Life360 Family Locator app allows you to create ‘Circles’ of family and friends. You can then view real-time locations on a private family map, which is only visible through the Family Locator. You can get real-time alerts for Circle Members as they arrive or leave destinations such as home, work or school. The app also allows you to track lost or stolen phones and it is available for both Android and iOS phones.

 

Written by: Michael Brown

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