Apple has updated its Find My Friends app with what it calls a ‘new UI’ for setting up location-based alerts. The app uses geofencing to set up alerts for when you, or a friend, arrive or depart a location, and the new interface allows those to be more accurately defined.
The new interface for setting up those alerts has been tweaked to let you set the exact distance threshold from a location. This lets you fine-tune the sensitivity of an alert for, say, two different buildings on a campus. If you just wanted to know when someone is ‘home’, the older process with a ‘fixed’ zone was fine, but if you were looking to get notices when someone gets into a neighborhood, it was pretty much impossible.
The new process has been streamlined to let you send a notification all on one page, with repeat notices, a simple ‘ping’ option (Right Now) or arrival and departure. To set your threshold, tap the new purple ‘handle’ and drag it out a certain distance (you’ll get a running measurement) and let it go.
If you’re a Find My Friends user, like a parent who keeps track of their kids getting to school etc, this update is a nice tweak that gives it a bit more utility. We’ve reviewed another app that does location-based reminders, Checkmark, in the past and really liked it. One of the things that I pointed out as an advantage over Find My friends was that it allowed you to set a radius in increments of meters. Seeing this pop up in Find My Friends is nice, but if you’re looking for more granular location alerts, Checkmark is still your app.
If, on the other hand, you’re using it as a family monitoring tool, then Find My Friends and its ties with your Apple ID and family devices make it a hard prospect to pass up, and now it’s just a bit better.
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