Google has been adding some interesting features to the Maps app, to make it more useful for the users. The recent developments have been towards adding in-app reviews and ratings, and the ability to add multiple stops in a journey.
Now, Google Maps allows you to share your real-time location and trips with your friends and families. This feature comes in very handy when you have to reach your destination on time but are not able to because you’re stuck in a situation. You can instantly share the location with your friends and let them know where you are.
WhatsApp users might also have used the location option in its chat service, that allows you to locate the other person. Even WhatsApp is now planning to allow real-time location sharing with friends.
However, Google has gone a step ahead, and added real-time sharing of your trip, so that other people can track your trip, exactly like how Uber and Ola do it. It provides the arrival time, so your friends and family know when you’re to be expected at the destination.
Google’s blog post read, “On both Android and iOS, you’ll be able to share your real-time location with anyone. And the people you share with will be able to see your location on Android, iPhone, mobile web, and even desktop.”
How to share real-time location and trip?
Google will be releasing the update to its app very soon, so if you have got the update, you can follow the steps below –
- Open Google Maps app and just open the side menu or tap the blue dot that represents where you are.
- Tap “Share location” and then select who to share with.
- You can also decide the amount of time you want to share the location for.
You can share your real-time location with your Google contacts, or even share with friends and family by sending a link on your messenger apps. When you’re sharing your location, the people you’ve chosen to share with will see you on their map. And you’ll see an icon above the compass on your own map reminding you that you’re actively sharing your location.
To share your trip, tap the “More” button on the bottom on the navigation screen, and then tap “Share trip.” When you share your trip with people, they’ll see your expected arrival time and can follow your journey as you head toward your destination.
You can choose to stop sharing your location anytime you want. Google allows you to share your location from 15 minutes to 3 days. This way, the other person will see your progress and be sure of the time you’ll take to your destination. This feature is especially useful for India, considering everyone is late and there is so much traffic on the road.
Real-time sharing could cause privacy concerns
Other similar apps like Waze have already had this feature for sometime now, and Maps is just catching up to it. Google allows you to share your location infinitely with your friends and family, using the ‘Until you turn it off’ feature. This should be used very smartly for very trusted people.
Google will also send you reminders every day to remind you that you’re sharing location with someone else. This makes sure you’re not allowing any random person to access your location, which can be dangerous to yourself.
Because location sharing can be shady, Google has also requested users to have some caution while sharing your location with a contact. If your contact’s smartphone gets in the wrong hands, it can be a big privacy breach and cause more trouble to users.
Even though such a feature will definitely help the users, but the negatives could also outweigh the positive, unless Google enforces some strict features.