Hidden inside Google’s mapping software Google Maps is the ability for the user to allow someone to track your location for a set duration, or indefinitely.
Depending on how you look at this handy feature, it’s a great way for you to share your location with friends and family for safety and convenience purposes, or it’s a creepy feature that a jealous loved one could take advantage of without your knowledge.
Setting up location tracking on your iPhone or Android device is easy.
Open the Google Maps app on your phone. Your current location is represented by a blinking blue dot in the middle of your screen. Tap the blue dot and, from the menu that appears, press ‘Share your location’. You may be prompted to authorise the app to access your contacts before continuing.
Now, choose either for how long you want to enable someone access to your location or select ‘Until you turn this off’.
If you select a specific amount of time, you can share your location as a link via SMS, email or by inviting specific contacts in your phone to receive the link.
If you select ‘Until you turn this off’, you are given the option to invite specific contacts in your phone to receive access to your location via Google Maps.
Your contact should now be able to see your exact location in real-time.
To manage and turn off any location sharing settings in Google Maps, press the hamburger menu in the top left of the screen, click on ‘Location sharing’ from the drop-down menu and tap the ‘x’ next to the line that tells you how long your location is being shared.
Do you see this capability as a positive or negative? Have you used it with a friend when you’ve wanted to share your location?