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Map gloat

Google rolls out Maps feature

Map gloat

Google rolls out Maps feature

Search giant Google has officially launched a new feature for its Maps service that allows a user to temporarily send their location to another user.

To gain access to this feature, users will need to set it up and recipients will also need to have done the same. Once the user is ready to go, they simply tap on the blue dot, which indicates where that user is on the map. Alternatively, users can also access the tool in the side menu of the app and select ‘Get Started’.

Next, users will select the option ‘Share Location’ and then choose any number of available contacts to share the location with. Furthermore, there is the option to choose how long a user wants to share the location for, which can be anywhere from minutes to months. The tool allows users to select a “special friend” for when they want to share their location over a longer period, by selecting “on-going basis”.

As well as this, the new feature will also allow the user to send locations to those who do not have Maps. This is done by sending the selected recipient a short link via an SMS message.

With privacy being a big concern to some people, the company aims to remind people that they have this location sharing service switched on. The company has said that the app will send a notification to the user every two to three weeks informing them that this function has been left on.

This is the latest of a string of updates to Maps to make it much more useful to people in their everyday lives. Last month, Google updated the tool to allow users to mark certain locations and save them for later. This is aimed at various people, such as those making social plans with friends who may want to save the location of a particular bar or restaurant, or people who have recently relocated to a new city and want to remember where a particular venue is and how to get there.

Maps has also introduced a feature aimed at drivers relating to finding a car parking space at their final destination. It allows the user to see what the parking situation is like in real time and whether they need to find somewhere else to park, perhaps prompting a user to designate more time to travel.

The location-sharing update is now live on all versions of Google Maps – Android, iOS and desktop version.

Alan Littler

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