Trusted Contacts app from Google tracks friends with GPS

Google is launching a new app called Trusted Contacts today, and it's aimed toward making sure you're never truly alone – especially in dangerous situations. With the app, you can name a number trusted contacts who can see your location to ensure that your safe. The app also features some degree of offline functionality, so people will be able to see your last known location even if you're venturing into an area will poor wireless service.

Google gives the example of a hiker going on a solo trip. Say you were to do just that, and you tell someone on your trusted contacts list where you're going and when to expect you back. If you happen to get off course in an area with no cell service, your trusted contact can still look at your last known location and alert local rangers to your general whereabouts. In the end, you end up getting rescued likely much sooner than you would have if your contact didn't have access to that information.

Just as well, you can share your location with your trusted contacts in real-time. For example, this allows them to watch along as you walk to your car after dark. Google likens this to having a friend walk you home, albeit virtually instead of in person.

Beyond that, your trusted contacts can ask you to share your current location if they're worried about you. You'll see the request pop up on your phone and have five minutes to respond. If everything is good on your end, you can deny their request, but if you're in trouble, you can share your location instantly. If the timer winds down to zero and you haven't responded at all, then they'll receive your phone's current location and can go from there.

Naturally, this may bring up some privacy concerns from prospective users, but Google assures that you can stop sharing your location or change your trusted contacts whenever you want. The app is available to download today from the Google Play Store. It's only available on Android for now, with no word on if or when an iOS version will release.

SOURCE: Google