Google shuts down Trusted Contacts, its emergency location sharing app

Google has killed yet another product. RIP to Google Trusted Contacts, 2016-2020.

Trusted Contacts was a personal safety app for Android. It let you flag certain contacts as "trusted," and those people could then request your location in an emergency situation. The base functionality was not all that different from Google Maps location sharing, but when Trusted Contacts launched in 2016—the Google+ dark ages—Google Maps did not have location sharing built in. (Google Latitude, the original Google Maps location sharing functionality, debuted in 2009, but that was killed in 2013 in favor of Google+ location sharing. Google+ was on the way out by 2016, and location sharing returned to Google Maps in 2017.) The one addition besides a proactive location sharing was for a trusted contact to declare an emergency location request, which the other user would have to deny or it would automatically share.

The app has a 3.8 rating on the Play Store and over a million downloads, which is not good enough to save it from the Google grim reaper. Google sent out emails to users saying that since location sharing was now built into Google Maps, the Trusted Contacts app was no longer need. The app will shut down in just 43 days, on December 1, 2020.

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