From December 2020, Google will discontinue its emergency location sharing app Trusted Contacts. The app was introduced by Google in 2016 to share location information with people. “Trusted Contacts wouldn’t be supported after December 1, 2020. If the app is installed on your device, you can continue to use it until then. To share your location with others, try Location Sharing in Google Maps,” reads the message on Google Trusted Contacts. Google says if users have created trusted contacts, they can download them from the trusted contacts page until 1 December 2020. After that, the trusted contacts will not see the live location shared by users with them from the app.
Since 2017, Google Maps has been helping users share real-time location, but one has to constantly track and share their location with others instead of only broadcasting it to their loved ones.
Trusted Contacts allowed users to share their location with a trusted contact, be it family or friends if they feel unsafe or want somebody to watch out for them. Also, in situations where you could not get your phone or your device is offline, your trusted contacts could find you.
In July 2017, the app was launched for iOS devices, months after being introduced for Android devices.
Users can control how fast their location is shared when their ‘trusted contacts’ request the location. Initially, the limit was set to five minutes, which was later changed, and users could choose anything between sharing the location immediately to waiting up to an hour.
The announcement comes within days after Google announced new updates and changes for Chats and Hangouts. Last week, Google said that it would officially transition users from Google Hangouts to Google Chat next year.
In a blog, Google said that from 2021, Chat would become available as a free service both in the integrated experience in Gmail and the Chat standalone app.