Google is adding a real-time location sharing feature to Google Maps. This will allow users to share their real-time locations with friends and family.Google announced the feature in a blog post today.
To send your location to contacts, all you need to choose the “Share location” option from the Google Maps side menu. Now you can select how long you would be able to share the location, then tap the person you want to share the location and they will be able to follow you (it varies between 15 minutes and 3 days). The best part: the person tracking you doesn’t need to have a Google account. You can share the link tied to your location using any messenger application, which can be opened in a desktop or mobile web browser.
For example, if you are driving to a new place, you can share your real-time location and trip progress from the navigation data. While in the navigation screen, tap the “More” button on the bottom, and then tap “Share trip”. Sharing ends you arrive at the destination.
Similar features are available on other apps. For example, Apple offers a tracking feature called “Find My Friends” on its iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. Those who remember Google Latitude (now-defunct) know that this feature excited even before.
Google says an update to Google Maps will be available for both Android and iOS users, though an exact date wasn’t provided. While the feature is useful at times, it could be a bit controversial as well, as it raises privacy concerns. In December, Facebook decided to stop showing the exact location of users in its Nearby Friends feature. Instead, the app now gives an overview of where you are, indicating the neighbourhood rather than a map.