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Google’s Trusted Contacts introduces cross-platform Find My Friends functionality, with more control

Apple’s Find My Friends app can be a really useful way to share your location with your partner, family and friends, but it relies on everyone having an iOS device. Google has just solved that problem by bringing its Trusted Contacts app to iPhone. The app first launched on Android last year.

In addition to working across platforms, it also offers an additional level of control …

Where Find My Friends is all or nothing – you either allow someone to track you or you don’t for the specified period – Trusted Contacts has a time-out feature which offers you a chance to decline a request.

When someone requests your info, you can choose to allow your location to be shared immediately, or you can opt to have a request pop up for manual approval. To ensure that your trusted contacts can find you in an emergency, a time-out will automatically share your location if you don’t respond to the request within a preset time. By default, that’s five minutes, but you can set it to 15 mins, 30 mins or one hour.

There is also the option to proactively share your location with someone if you feel unsafe.

The request approach to me makes this more useful on a casual basis. For example, if I’m organising a cycling club ride, it would be handy to share my location on the day of a ride to make it easier for everyone to find me at the start. I wouldn’t want to give someone I don’t know well access to Find My Friends, as I may not remember to remove them afterwards. But because I’ll be alerted to requests, I’d happily add them to this app.

Google’s app doesn’t, however, offer the same location-based notifications as Find My Friends. Trusted Contacts is a free download from the App Store.

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Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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