Google Maps will soon let users on Android and iOS share their real-time location with friends, family, and colleagues — all while trying to keep a mindful eye on privacy.
If you’re the type of person who texts your friends “I just left, I’ll be there soon” when you’re really about to step into the shower, you’re not going to like this news: Google is updating its popular Maps app with new features to let friends view each other’s location in real-time.
THE LOCATION SHARING FEATURE ONLY WORKS IF YOU DECIDE TO SHARE YOUR CURRENT LOCATION
The location-sharing feature only works if you decide to share your current location with a specific person, and you can limit how long a friend sees your location. Ideally, this will provide Google Maps users with a handy way to let their friends know how close, or far away, they are from a rendez-vous — and just how late they really will be.
Here’s a look at how it works:
The new feature looks simple enough to use, requiring only that you tap the blue dot that indicates your location and then select “share my location.”
YOU CAN SHARE YOUR LOCATION WITH ANYONE IN YOUR GOOGLE CONTACTS LIST
You can share your location with anyone in your Google Contacts list, regardless of whether they are on iOS, Android or on a computer. You will also have the option to bypass Google Contacts and copy a link to send to any recipient.
You will be able to set a time limit on how long you are sharing your location, and the app will notify you that your location is being shared whenever you are in it, so that you don’t inadvertently forget.
And if you’re using Google Maps for driving directions, the update will allow you to share your location and route with whoever you want, providing them with an up-to-date ETA.
Google said the update is coming “soon,” though it did provide an exact release date.
These features come on the heels of a Maps update that makes sure you never forget where you parked your car again. Interestingly enough, Google envisions these updates being most useful when planning a surprise birthday party. Take a look: