Google will stop the trusted Shared Contacts location sharing app in December, and it will be yanked from the Google Play Store. Instead, it directs existing users to try similar but less useful features in Google Maps. This is a shame, because while Trusted Contacts allows you to find a family member even if they do not respond (say, if they are unconscious or in danger), Google Maps asks them to be proactive. broadcast their location to you.
The announcement was a bit sudden:
Google Maps has been sharing location real time since 2017, but again, you need to opt-in to continuous tracking, sharing your location with other people all the time instead of just broadcasting it to loved ones if you do not respond. Trusted Contacts, by comparison, allows you to add people to your contacts who you want to share your locations with in the event of an emergency. If something goes wrong, your contacts may request a status update to see if you are well and you can respond to your location to check them out. If you do not respond, 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:
Switching other apps and features to Google Maps has been Google’s strategy for a while, but the Maps feature is of little importance. And while it is possible that the Trusted Contacts app does not have many users, people who rely on it will have to find something else.
Google will end support for the app in December, but you will be able to download your contacts from your Trusted Contacts page until the app is shut down. Until then, you may be familiar with Google Maps location sharing.