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Google Trusted Contacts emergency location app discontinued

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image captionThe app's mascots tend to get lost on hikes and need to keep track of each other

Google is shutting down its app designed to let friends and family locate each other in an emergency.

The Trusted Contacts app allowed you to nominate special contacts who could request to see your location - and automatically provide it if the user didn't respond.

It has now been removed from Google's App Store.

Google said it had rolled the features into Google Maps, which people can use to share their location instead.

However, the two apps' features are not identical: Google Maps location sharing must be turned on, and left on all the time, or set for a specific time window.

The Trusted Contacts feature would only broadcast a phone's location when asked, with an option to decline.

"Whether it's hiking alone or walking down a street after dark — sometimes you want to know someone's got your back," Google said of the feature when it launched in December 2016.

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Before sending a location request, the app would show approved contacts if the user had moved location recently, and whether the phone was online or not.

The request could go the other way, too - a user could share their location with a contact as they began walking home late at night, for example.

Those who already have the Trusted Contact app downloaded can continue using it until 1 December, when it will be switched off.

While similar, the Maps feature works differently, with requests and controls buried in a sub-menu, and the default time for location sharing is one hour every time it is activated.

It is not the first time Google has killed off a location-sharing app. Its Latitude app, which similarly integrated with its Maps software, was launched in 2009 and discontinued in 2013.

Related Topics

  • Google
  • Internet privacy
  • Apps
  • Social media

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