Google today announced an update coming to the iOS, Android, and desktop versions of Google Maps will introduce a way for users to share their real-time locations with friends and family. Google's update differs from the location sharing in Apple Maps, Messages, and Find My Friends, which all lack the ability to follow friends around on a map in real-time.

In Google Maps on iOS, users will be able to tap into the app's side menu, choose "Share Location," and pick from a selection of approved contacts who will see their current location. Contacts are pulled from existing Google accounts, and users can also send links through Messages to friends who aren't on their contacts list when they need to share their location.

google sharing 32
After a user's location is shared, their chosen contacts will see where they are within Google Maps, represented as a small face icon that moves in real-time according to where the sharer is located. A small icon above the compass in the app will remind users that their location is being shared for the period of time they requested, but they can also choose to end sharing early.

Google today posted a video to detail a real scenario where its location sharing feature could come in handy, focusing on the creation of a surprise birthday party. The video also shows off how users can share their car trips with friends, so they can see an ETA on when the sharer should be arriving.


Google said that location sharing will be rolling out worldwide sometime soon. Google Maps can be downloaded for free from the iOS App Store. [Direct Link]

Top Rated Comments

MobileMikeV Avatar
59 months ago
The article is incorrect - Find My Friends is not a one-time location share. You can temporarily or permanently share your realtime location with others.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
naeS1Sean Avatar
59 months ago
This looks really great. Sometimes I stalk my wife and this seems like a big improvment over the forgotten Find My Friends.

At least we can count on other companies to update things.
[doublepost=1490195397][/doublepost]
The article is incorrect - Find My Friends is not a one-time location share. You can temporarily or permanently share your realtime location with others.
But Find My Friends doesn't follow a person in real time. You have to keep hitting the refresh icon every minute or so. I'm aware I sound like a crazy stalker.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nutmac Avatar
59 months ago
Wouldn't this be a big battery hog?
Yes, and the reason why Find My Friends app updates locations only sporadically.

Ideally, the app should poll location only once every few minutes but provide continuous real-time location if the app is running as a foreground active app.

I would like Find My Friends be fully integrated to Apple Maps in iOS 11.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
zosobao5150 Avatar
59 months ago
Wouldn't this be a big battery hog?
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
earthTOmitchel Avatar
59 months ago
The article is incorrect - Find My Friends is not a one-time location share. You can temporarily or permanently share your realtime location with others.
I updated the article to try and more closely explain, but it is tricky. Find My Friends updates with friends' locations when the app is opened, or when you tap the refresh button, but you can't sit there and watch their progress physically move around on a map. That's what Google Maps is offering. FMF is pretty much close enough to be considered in real time if you sit there and tap the button, so it gets hard to distinguish.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sidewinder3000 Avatar
59 months ago
This looks really great. Sometimes I stalk my wife and this seems like a big improvment over the forgotten Find My Friends.

At least we can count on other companies to update things.
[doublepost=1490195397][/doublepost]
But Find My Friends doesn't follow a person in real time. You have to keep hitting the refresh icon every minute or so. I'm aware I sound like a crazy stalker.
Wrong. My wife and I use Find Friends all the time. I can see her dot moving on a map on my screen as she drives home, no refresh necessary.
[doublepost=1490228415][/doublepost]
I've wanted this feature for a long time!

Some of my friends are on Android and most of them don't use or even feel comfortable with Find My Friends, and half of them can never remember how to share their location in messages.

But EVERYONE has and uses Google Maps, and sharing my drive home to my wife so she gets an ETA especially when traffic is bad will be very nice.
Sorry, but your statement that "EVERYONE has and uses Google Maps" is wildly innacurate. Hundreds of millions of people use Apple Maps, many whom never bother to install Google Maps.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iphone 12 colors 2021

iPhone 12 Colors: Deciding on The Right Color

Thursday November 5, 2020 8:35 am PST by
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro arrived last October in a range of color options, with entirely new hues available on both devices, as well as some popular classics. The 12 and 12 Pro have different color choices, so if you have your heart set on a particular shade, you might not be able to get your preferred model in that color. iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 The iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Full iPhone 13 Feature Breakdown: Everything Rumors Say We Can Expect

Tuesday August 31, 2021 7:50 am PDT by
With the launch of Apple's iPhone 13 lineup believed to be just a few weeks away, we have compiled all of the coherent rumors from our coverage over the past year to build a full picture of the features and upgrades coming to the company's new smartphones. For clarity, only explicit improvements, upgrades, and new features compared to the iPhone 12 lineup are listed. It is worth noting that...
original iphone

Phil Schiller Says iPhone Was 'Earth-Shattering' Ten Years Ago and Remains 'Unmatched' Today

Monday January 9, 2017 7:15 am PST by
To commemorate the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller sat down with tech journalist Steven Levy for a wide-ranging interview about the smartphone's past, present, and future. The report first reflects upon the iPhone's lack of support for third-party apps in its first year. The argument inside Apple was split between whether the iPhone should be a closed...
macbook air deals

Deals: Amazon Drops Price of 256GB M1 MacBook Air to New Low of $849.99 ($149 Off)

Friday August 27, 2021 6:16 am PDT by
Amazon today introduced new low prices on the M1 MacBook Air for both 256GB and 512GB storage options. To start, you can get the 256GB model for $849.99, down from an original price of $999.00. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. Only Silver and Gold are...
iCloud General Feature

iCloud+'s New Custom Email Domain Feature Now Available in Beta

Wednesday August 25, 2021 7:48 am PDT by
Starting with iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS Monterey, users with a paid iCloud+ storage plan can personalize their iCloud email address with a custom domain name, such as johnny@appleseed.com, and the feature is now available in beta. iCloud+ subscribers interested in setting up a custom email domain can visit the beta.icloud.com website, select "Account Settings" under their name, and select ...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Kuo: iPhone 13 to Feature LEO Satellite Communications to Make Calls and Texts Without Cellular Coverage

Sunday August 29, 2021 7:39 am PDT by
The iPhone 13 will feature low earth orbit (LEO) satellite communication connectivity to allow users to make calls and send messages in areas without 4G or 5G coverage, according to the reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Kuo explained that the iPhone 13 lineup will feature hardware that is able to connect to LEO satellites. If enabled with the relevant...
maxresdefault

New MacBook Pro Models Coming at WWDC, Suggests Leaker

Monday May 24, 2021 1:27 pm PDT by
New MacBook Pro models are coming at WWDC, according to leaker Jon Prosser who has a mixed track record when it comes to predicting Apple's plans. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Prosser provided no additional information, but there are new 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro models in the works. The new MacBook Pros will feature the most radical redesign to the MacBook Pro ...
omg lightning cable comparison

Security Researcher Develops Lightning Cable With Hidden Chip to Steal Passwords

Thursday September 2, 2021 6:59 am PDT by
A normal-looking Lightning cable that can used to steal data like passwords and send it to a hacker has been developed, Vice reports. The "OMG Cable" compared to Apple's Lightning to USB cable. The "OMG Cable" works exactly like a normal Lightning to USB cable and can log keystrokes from connected Mac keyboards, iPads, and iPhones, and then send this data to a bad actor who could be over a...
ted lasso notchless phone

No, That Notchless iPhone Spotted in 'Ted Lasso' Isn't the iPhone 13

Tuesday August 31, 2021 2:15 am PDT by
Recent sightings of a notchless iPhone in highly popular Apple TV+ comedy "Ted Lasso" have led to sensational headlines suggesting this is a canny bit of product placement on Apple's part and that the iPhone 13 will be notchless. In actuality – and this could go without saying – the phone in question is very likely just showing a poorly superimposed display added in post-production. Notchless ...
calculatorapp

iOS 11 Bug: Typing 1+2+3 Quickly in the Calculator App Won't Get You 6

Tuesday October 24, 2017 2:03 pm PDT by
A bug in the built-in Calculator app in iOS 11 is getting some major attention this week, despite the fact that it's been around since iOS 11 was in beta testing. At issue is a calculator animation that causes some symbols to be ignored when calculations are entered in rapid succession. You can try it for yourself: Type 1+2+3 and then the equals sign into the Calculator app quickly. Due to...