Google has introduced a new way to let your friends and family know that you are safe in case of an emergency. The new “Trusted Contacts” application enables you to keep your loved ones updated as to your location and activity status.
According to the Google blog, “Trusted Contacts helps connect you with the people you care about most — at the times you need them most.”
Both sides have to opt for the location sharing feature and the application enables sharing in real time. Once you have downloaded the application, you can assign “trusted” status to as many contacts on your phone as you want and those contacts will then be able to request your location. Users will have the option to accept or decline the request but if you do nothing then your location is automatically shared with the other person after a reasonable amount of time. This enables them to know where you are if you are unable to get to your phone due to an emergency.
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Using the application you can also “invite a trusted friend to virtually walk you home if you feel unsafe” says the Google blog. They can also track your movements on Google Maps and watch you make your way back home safely in real time. Another advantage is that even if your phone is offline your last known location can be known using this application. This real time feature also be turned off and on at your convenience.
Currently, only the Android application can be used. Apple users will be notified once the iOS application is available.