Google kills the app that lets you locate loved ones during an emergency

Google will shut down trusted contacts from its emergency location sharing app in December, and has already yanked it from the Google Play Store. Instead, it is directing existing users to try out similar but less helpful features in Google Maps. It’s a shame, because trusted contacts can find you even if you don’t respond to a family member (say, if they are unconscious or at risk), Google Maps requires that they actively transmit their location to you.

The announcement was abrupt:

Google’s email ad
Ian Carlos Campbell

Google Maps has been capable of real-time location sharing since 2017, but again, you’ll have to choose to be constantly tracking King, sharing your location with everyone, instead of just broadcasting it to loved ones if you don’t respond. . Trusted contacts, by comparison, allow you to add people to your contacts who want to share your locations immediately. If someone arises, your contacts may request status correction to see if you are correct and you can respond with your location to reassure them. If you don’t reply, the app automatically shares your last known location so they can send for help.

When Google originally launched Trusted Contacts, it created this GIF to show how it works:

Folding other apps and features into Google Maps has been Google’s strategy for some time, but the Maps feature doesn’t seem to be as valuable. And while it is possible that there were not many users in the trusted contacts app, those who were calculating it would need to find something else.

Google is ending support for the app in December, but you will be able to download your contacts from your Trusted Contacts page until the app closes. Until then, you’re also familiar with location sharing with Google Maps.