For most of us, a call to 911 is our first impulse when facing an emergency situation. Today, with the rise of social media and advances in technology, people can turn to a smartphone app or social media page for help during crises.
From Apple’s Find My Friends to Facebook’s Safety Check, tech giants are creating ways to help people during emergencies. And Google has taken things one step further with Trusted Contacts.
Trusted Contacts allows users to share their location with any of their designated “trusted contacts,” while trusted contacts can request the user’s location as well. A person can accept or decline someone’s request, but if they don’t respond, the app will automatically accept the request and share that individual’s location.
Users can share their location at any given time, or indefinitely. The app is different than Find My Friends, letting users share their location for a certain period of time, while perhaps walking home alone or out and about at night. Unless a location is shared indefinitely, the app only shows trusted contacts general information about a user’s whereabouts and if they are online. The app works offline too, so if a user’s phone dies, a trusted contact can find out where their last online location was.
Google’s product manager David Tattersall tells Mashable, “It basically means then that as long as you’ve got your phone in your pocket, someone can always find you in case of an emergency. You’re always findable.”
The app is only available for Android right now, but will be available on iPhones soon.