Apple's ecosystem just got a little bit less sticky, thanks to Google's location-sharing app launching on iOS. Trusted Contacts was launched on Android in December, allowing friends and family to see and request your location — even when offline by showing your last known position. With its inclusion in both the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store, now anyone in the smartphone duopoly can keep track of their loved ones.
Trusted Contacts also received a few updates that benefit existing Android users. The app now lets users change the default time in which their location is shared after a request is made by a trusted contact. The previous default was five minutes, but now you can share immediately or with up to an hour delay. Google pitches the feature as potentially lifesaving in emergency situations when you can't answer your phone. Other changes to the app include the ability to add trusted contacts by phone number, and the addition of nine new languages for a total of 25 supported.
Like iMessage, AirPlay, and FaceTime, Find My Friends is one of those iPhone features that keeps families and friends locked into Apple's ecosystem because it only works in iOS (with hooks back to macOS). In my family of five, the kids all have hand-me-down iPhones and Find My Friends has been incredibly useful, logistically speaking. It’s a service we can’t live without. Trusted Contacts is cross platform, works with my preferred mapping app (Google Maps), and comes with the weight of Google's name behind it. In other words, I now have one more reason to consider switching to Android, especially when the best smartphone I can buy right now is the Galaxy S8.