Google said it will discontinue it’s an emergency location sharing app Trusted Contacts in December 2020. The company had already removed the service from the App and Google Play Stores. Google is urging users to try out an alternative app like Google Maps, although it offers less helpful features and needs users to be willing to share their location with loved ones before they could be located.
Google launched its Trusted Contact service four years ago. It received positive reviews from a wide section of users who were able to share their location with friends and family whenever they were in a dangerous environment or situation. The service was a hit with parents who could easily locate their children in emergencies. There were other wonderful features that the service paraded, such as allowing Trusted Contacts to share battery levels.
The company said that although the app is no longer on the App Store or Google Play Store, users that have already downloaded it can use it up until December 1, 2020. After that, support for the app will no longer exist. This has come as unfortunate news for lots of users, especially parents, who need to keep in touch with their wards.
Google has said that it has integrated a lot of functionalities into Google Maps that also allows for location sharing. However, the two services cannot be compared. With Google Maps, a user would have to opt-in to keep up with constant tracking, and they would be sharing their location with others all of the time, instead of only when they don’t respond.
Trusted Contacts, on the other hand, allows you to add people to your contact that you would love to share your location with in the event of an emergency. Again, if any contact should request a status update to check up on you, you can respond immediately to signal that you’re okay. If there were no response from your end within a reasonable time, the app would automatically share your last known location.
While the exact reasons why Google decided to kill off the Trusted Contacts service may not be known, the company may be trying to fold up apps that offer duplicating services. The fact that the Trusted Contacts app did not have a lot of users did not help its cause.
Users of Trusted Contacts service will now have to move on to Google Maps and familiarize themselves with the app’s location-sharing features.