Stay Safe by Sharing Your Location Data With Trusted Contacts in Real-Time
If your household consists of iOS and Android devices, you can now take advantage of Google’s Trusted Contacts app. First launched for Android users, the app is now available in the iOS app store, making it easy for users on both platforms to connect.
Trusted Contacts is similar to Apple’s Find My Friends app, allowing you to add friends and family to your trusted contacts list and share your location at all times with them.
Contacts can also send you a request for your location. Requests can be denied, but if you don’t respond within a certain time frame, your last known location will be shared. That time frame is set to five minutes by default, but you can change it to 15 or 30 minutes, one hour, or immediately.
The app also offers an offline mode, so even if your phone is offline or turned off, your last known location can still be shared with friends or family in emergency situations.
How to Set Up and Use Trusted Contacts
When first setting up the app, you’ll need to grant Google access to your location history. You also have the option of allowing others to find and app you on the app by your email address or phone number. When you add members, they’ll be notified and can add you back.
To share your location with a contact, tap their name and tap Location sharing settings. You can choose between two options:
- Share your location when the contact sends you a request.
- Share your location with that person at all times.
To send out a location alert and notify others of where you are, tap the orange location marker button on the home screen. You can send location alerts to a selection of contacts or to all of your contacts.
You can also completely disable location access from within the app. Tap Settings > Location History and toggle the feature off. Under Settings, you can also see your existing location history stored on Google by tapping Manage location history, and you can also block contacts.
Now, of course, by using this app, you are sharing your location history with Google. While this information is not shared publicly, you have to decide whether you feel this is the kind of information you are willing to share with a third party at all times.
What do you think of Trusted Contacts? Is it the kind of app that you would use with your family and close friends? Let us know in the comments.
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