Google Maps is finally borrowing one of iOS’ most useful features: the ability to share your location with friends. Rolling out “soon” to both iOS and Android users of the app, the feature should make those frustrating “Where are you?” and “Are you on your way?” messages a thing of the past.
Here’s how it will work. In Google Maps, you can either slide out the app’s side menu from the right, or tap your blue dot on the map and then select “Share location.” You can then choose who you want to share your location with and how long (15 minutes up to 3 days, or indefinitely until you turn it off). Your location is shared as a link, so friends will be able to view it whether they’re on a phone or on a desktop.
One difference with iOS’ version of this location-sharing feature is that you also have the ability to either share your general location or your exact GPS location. The latter could come in handy, say, if you’re meeting a date and want to give your ETA without revealing your exact address.
If you’re in the middle of a journey (or about to start one), you can also tap the “More” button at the bottom of your screen and then click “Share trip.” This will let your contacts follow your trip in real time, and give them an ETA of your arrival. In this case, location sharing will end once you arrive at your destination.
Whenever you’re sharing your location, the app will conveniently remind you of that fact with an icon above the compass on your map. And, of course, you can choose to end that location sharing at any point.
Google says that this feature will begin rolling out to iOS and Android phone users worldwide “soon,” although Waze (an app also owned by Google) has had these kinds of trip-sharing features for a while now.
H/T The Verge