Google Trusted Contacts App Lets You Tell Loved Ones You're Safe

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Because bad things happen, Google just released a new Android app called Trusted Contacts, which lets you tell loved ones you're safe in the event of an emergency.

"Whether it's hiking alone or walking down a street after dark — sometimes you want to know someone's got your back," Google Software Engineer Minh Nguyen wrote in a blog post. "To help you feel safe and give your friends and family peace of mind, today we're launching Trusted Contacts."

The app lets you share your location with loved ones, even if your phone is offline or you can't get to it. Once you install the app, you can label your closest friends and family members as trusted contacts.

"Your trusted contacts will be able to see your activity status — whether you've moved around recently and are online — to quickly know if you're OK," Nguyen explained. If you feel unsafe, you can easily share your location with trusted contacts. The location-sharing bit also works the other way around: if a trusted contact is worried about you, they can request to see your location.

"If everything's fine, you can deny the request," Nguyen wrote. "But if you're unable to respond within a reasonable timeframe, your location is shared automatically and your loved ones can determine the best way to help you out."

Rest assured that you can stop sharing your location or change your trusted contacts any time.

Meanwhile, Facebook has also been working on new tools to help people when disaster strikes. The social network in November introduced a new suite of crisis response and charitable giving tools, including a Community Help feature that will let you ask for or offer things like shelter, food, and supplies in the event of a natural disaster.

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