Google has introduced a new app called Trusted Contacts, which is around personal safety and will help users alert their family and friends. The app is currently only available on Android and the Play Store description say this is a “personal safety app that opens a direct line of sharing between you and your loved ones.”
A user can add their closest friends and family as trusted contacts in this app. Trusted contacts can request your location in order to check on a user. Google says if everything’s fine, a person can deny the request, but if they are unable to respond, then the location will be shared automatically. Google says this feature works even if you are offline or the phone is out of battery.
Watch all our videos on tech, smartphones and gadgets
Google’s Trusted Contact app will let users “proactively” share their location, if they feel unsafe or are facing an emergency situation. Also trusted contacts can see your phone’s activity status to quickly know if you are okay or not.
Google’s Trusted Contacts can be particularly useful in a place like in India. It is also being compared to Facebook’s Safety Check feature. From the face of it, the advantage with this app is that if your friends or family fear you are in trouble, they can quickly check your location.
The fact that Google has added location sharing even if the phone is offline or out of charge is another positive feature, especially if you’re caught in an emergency or a dangerous situation. In India, where internet connectivity remains patchy, the ability to share location offline will also be a big plus.
In India the government is also looking at a proposal where it will make emergency SOS button compulsory on all smartphones, feature phones sold in the country. It has been reported that Apple is testing out an upgrade in iOS 10 which will trigger emergency services when the power button is pressed 5 times, and this was also spotted in the beta developer version. Now it looks like Google has gone for an app-based solution to help Android users keep safe.