The New Release
Google has released a new personal safety app for Android called Trusted Contacts. The app is designed to be used in emergency situations, allowing you to mark some of your close friends and family members as trusted contacts. By doing this, you will be able to send them your location or ask for theirs.
This app is designed for emergency use, which can include a number of scenarios such as being in an unsafe location or stuck during an extreme weather event. By sharing your location, you get to have your trusted loved ones nearby if needed.
When triggered, a full-screen pop up will appear showing your location. You will have 5 minutes to respond otherwise your location will be shared automatically. This provides added peace of mind, as your location will be shared even if you are physically unable to initiate it yourself.
Even if you are not able to use your phone, your contact will still be able to locate you. Some of this functionality has been available in various forms from Google Latitude which was a part of Google Maps, as well as its next incarnation which was integrated into Google+.
When Google began taking emphasis away from Google+ it made sense to have the same functionality in another app, although in the long run I hope Google considers integrating the Trusted App functionality into Android itself.
This would allow for default functionality right from when people first sign into their Android smartphone, allowing them to name their trusted contacts once all their contacts are synced. This would make the whole process more accessible, and likely to keep more people safe.
Google’s shift towards mobile isn’t something that is just for the SEO benefits, but reflects their overall stance on the web. While this app isn’t SEO-related, some of the base functionality has existed as part of Google Maps and on Google+. Google’s Trusted Contacts app returns the functionality to the Android phone where it can help those who may need it the most.
As an app, Trusted Contacts is simple to use and probably would not need to be opened or used apart from on those rare occasions. Trusted Contacts is available on Android as a separate app download from the Google Play store but there is no information on whether an iOS version will be coming.