Remember Google Latitude? The Android version of Find My Friend on iOS? It s kind of back in a new avatar, and now it s called Trusted Contacts. Google s Trusted Contacts is basically a location tracking-based personal safety app, which helps you communicate to and locate your friends and family in case of emergency. And what s new about the app is that it works even when you are offline or you can t get to it. The app is available for free on Play Store, and will soon be rolled out to iOS as well. Also Read - Google's offline dinosaur game in new Olympics avatar: Here's how to can playAlso Read - Top 5 free Android apps on Google Play store this week
Let us walk you through the app. Once you install the Android app, you can assign the trusted status to the contacts of your choosing. Now, all contacts that you choose in your trusted list, you will be able to see your activity status. If you find yourself in a precarious situation, you can immediately share your actual location with your trusted contacts. Additionally, even if your contacts need, they can request for your location. Of course you will always have the option to accept or deny the permission to share location. However, in a situation where you do not respond to a location request for more than five minutes, your location will be shared automatically. And in case you are offline, your last tracker location will be shared.
Additionally, Trusted Contacts can also be used as a virtual companion, where you can share your commute with a friend so they can track that you ve made it to your destination. When you get to your location, push the button at the top of your screen or on the lock screen to end sharing. Note that a user will have the control in the app to stop sharing their location or change their trusted contacts.
That said, along with being a safety app, Trusted Contacts also comes with potential misuses. By allowing tracking, not only means sharing your location with your own trusted contacts , but also with Google. Along with your contacts, Google would also always know where you are, where you visit often. And to use the virtual companion feature, you would naturally sync the app with Google Maps and in turn all of that will be logged on your My Activity dashboard. ALSO READ: Google s new My Activity dashboard shows just how closely it has been watching you
Google s My Activity shows you all of your online activities such as search history, video searches and places you have visited. Launched earlier this year, the new dashboard improves upon Google previous My Account dashboard, which allows you to manage and control Google experience on products like Search and Maps. The My Activity dashboard is also very similar to Facebook s Activity Log, where you can see all of your activities on the social networking platform. Additionally, Google is also planning to launch the app on iOS, to take on Apple s Find My Friends app.
Additionally, a little similar to the Trusted Contacts, Google had launched the Emergency Location Service earlier this year. Available for Android users, the feature uses Wi-Fi, GPS and cell towers to determine the caller s exact location. This feature, when supported by your network, sends location from their device to emergency services when they dial an emergency number. The feature is supported by all Android devices running on version 2.3 and above and is available through Google Play. To activate the service, a user s mobile network provider must support the feature. ALSO READ: Google launches Emergency Location Service for Android, here s everything you need to know