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Google Maps to enable real-time user location sharing

by Mark Tyson on 23 March 2017, 11:01

Tags: Google (NASDAQ:GOOG)

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Google has announced that it will be improving the Google Maps app by enabling real-time location sharing. The company is rolling out new apps for Android and iOS which will allow users to temporarily share their locations with friends, family, or colleagues - anyone in their Google contacts. Those who are invited to view your location can monitor your location and track your ETA in their own mobile app, or in Google Maps via a web browser.

To get a good grasp of the overall functionality and usefulness of location sharing, it's worth a watch of the brief video above. In the video you can see someone arrange a surprise birthday bash for a friend. At the same time the unsuspecting friend meets up with someone who allows his ETA to be tracked. Everyone can thus know when the birthday girl will arrive at the house.

It's very easy to share your location in the new Google Maps app, and importantly it's quick and intuitive to adjust the sharing time length and toggle those who can monitor your location. For people interested in your ETA, for example, trip progress can be checked upon and routes can be shared directly from the app too - thanks to the 'Share Trip' option. Trip sharing, unlike the time-based location sharing, automatically ends when you reach the destination.

Google hopes its new map-based tools will be useful to people and help people with questions such as "Where are you now?" and "What's your ETA?" The updated real-time user location sharing enabled app is "rolling out soon worldwide".



HEXUS Forums :: 19 Comments

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*tin foil hat intensifies*
Never mind tinfoil, us experts have custom-fit stainless steel with velvet lining for comfort, and a nice art-deco pattern in gold relief for style.
Hasn't this been an Apple feature for a while? Find my friends I think. Is it the same thing?
Tabbykatze
*tin foil hat intensifies*

Not sure why - Google have been tracking you 24/7 for years. ;)

As long as the security settings are in place appropriately I don't think there's much issue with this - there's third party apps that already have the functionality, and it's been built into Google+ for a while too, apparently. Google are just rolling into Maps as well - which is (to an extent) a sensible place for it.

I'd put a small wager on facebook monitoring this closely, and if it actually gets used I'd expect them to being the same functionality to their mobile apps to (which already let you check in places and share location manually anyway).
Jonj1611
Hasn't this been an Apple feature for a while? Find my friends I think. Is it the same thing?

Exactly what we used to do with Google Latitude…

It was handy for co-ordinating group holidays with people coming from all over the country. Nice and easy to turn on and off. Looks like it's got whizzier (sp?) with more control over sharing which I guess is a plus, shame it went away for 4 years…