It’s a pretty nifty implementation. Open the side menu or tap on the blue dot indicating where you are, and you’ll see a new “Share location” option. Pick a few people to share with, and they’ll be able to see where you are in real time right on their own Maps app.
You can set your location to be shared permanently with certain people, or set a time limit. You can also share your progress while navigating, and have the option to send your location as a link in messaging apps, too.
It’s one of the more genuinely useful features Google has added of late. There are several uses that I can already think of:
- Checking to make sure your friend arrived home safe after a late night out
- You’re visiting town for a couple of days, and want to let your friends know what you’re up to without having to constantly update them on your location
- Making sure no one gets lost when traveling in large groups
Here’s Google’s own explainer:
Granted, those are things you could previously do with third-party apps – and Apple has Find My Friends – but having it built into the most popular maps app around is certainly convenient.
Location sharing is rolling out worldwide “soon” and is coming to Android, iPhone, and the mobile and desktop web apps.