Google has today introduced a new app called ‘Trusted Contact Apps’ which can help one send their location details to few selected users at the time of emergencies such as Earthquake and other natural disasters. As of now, the app is only available for Android users (Size – 5.55 MB) but we expect Google to release it for iOS users as well.
Opening up the app, you will be greeted by the sign-in window. Post that, you will find a bunch of instructions explaining how it works. You have to keep your location settings turned on and if not, the app will ask you to do so. After that, you have to select your trusted contacts and as of now we could only add contacts from our Gmail account. Now you can either share your location details with selected contacts or in case of emergency you can share it will all with a single tap.
If an added contact wants to know your location, you get it in the form of a phone call. Denying it will mean that you are safe or else you can share your location details with that contact. Failing to respond to the request within 5 minutes will automatically send the location to that particular trusted contact. However, one needs to install the app and add you back in order to let you share the location details with him.You can also add a ‘Note’ while sharing your location details. Interestingly, Google claims that the app can work even if your offline or your device is out of battery.
Overall, the interface is neat and easy to use, as you would expect from Google. If used properly, this app can be extremely useful in situations of both natural and unnatural disasters. While natural disasters include earthquake, floods etc., un-natural disasters here means in case of suspicious kidnap and other mishappenings. Apart from the ever increasing economic growth, India, as a country, still holds the tag of a male dominated country which is why cases of kidnaps, rapes frequently hit the news.
Facebook has already introduced something similar to this (Facebook Safety Check) where one can post if he/she is safe during the crisis. However, we feel that this is a deeper integration covering much wider picture concerning the security issues around the world.