The Trusted Contacts app Google launched in late 2016 will officially lose support just days before its fourth anniversary. The news arrived as a small banner on the Google Trusted Contacts app website, where the company advises that users will no longer be able to use the app starting on December 1. Fortunately, Google has an alternative for customers who want it.
Trusted Contacts is, as its name suggests, an app that allows users to designate some people as ‘trusted,’ meaning they’ll get a special position on your phone and in your digital life. Using Trusted Contacts, users can share their location with a trusted contact as a safety measure, find a trusted contact’s location if there’s an emergency, and see the person’s status, including whether their phone’s battery is low or dead.
It’s easy to see the app’s appeal for families or groups who will be traveling together, but it apparently wasn’t enough for Google to keep the app around. According to a note on the Trusted Contacts website, users will be able to continue using the app until December 1, after which point it will no longer work.
Google is encouraging users who want to retain this type of location-based sharing functionality to instead turn to Google Maps, which has a real-time location sharing feature. Maps users are able to choose which people are allowed to view their location using Google Location, plus, of course, there’s the option to stop sharing at any time.
To turn on location sharing in Google Maps, you’ll need to tap on your profile image or initial, then select Location Sharing. Tap ‘New share’ and choose the person in your Google Contacts who will be granted access to your location. It is also possible to share the location with someone who doesn’t have a Google Account by copying a link and sending it to that individual using text messaging or email.