In a bid to foster seamless connectivity, Google has integrated a real-time location-sharing feature within its Maps app, available across Android, iOS, and PC platforms. While messaging apps like WhatsApp and Signal have long offered location-sharing capabilities, Google Maps now provides users with a native option to share live locations, offering additional features for enhanced communication and navigation.
- Selective Sharing: Google Maps Location Sharing allows users to choose who can access their live location and for how long. This feature ensures flexibility and privacy in sharing location details with friends and family.
- Battery Status and Charging Information: Going beyond conventional location sharing, Google Maps provides recipients with insights into the user’s device battery power and charging status. This additional context enhances the overall sharing experience.
- Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA): Users can share their ETA while navigating to a destination, keeping contacts informed about their expected arrival time. This feature proves especially useful for coordinating plans and events.
How to Use Location Sharing:
- Open the Google Maps app on your Android device, iPhone, or iPad.
- Tap the profile icon located on the top right corner.
- Select “Location Sharing” from the menu.
- Choose the duration for which you want to share your location.
- Pick from your list of Google contacts to share your location with and tap “Share.”
- For sharing with contacts outside Google, use “More options” to share the real-time location link via messaging apps like WhatsApp or iMessage.
Stopping Location Sharing:
- To cease location sharing, tap the profile of the person you’re sharing with and select “Stop.”
Sharing ETA during Navigation:
- While navigating to a destination, open Maps, set your destination, and start navigation.
- Tap “More” and select “Share trip progress” to keep a contact informed about your route and ETA.
- Location sharing automatically stops upon reaching the destination or when navigation is discontinued.
Additional Insights: Google Maps continues to enhance its features, especially in India, with recent introductions such as Live View Walking, Lens in Maps, fuel-efficient routing, address descriptors, and local train support. Live View Walking navigation is set to expand to 3,000 cities in India, while the Where Is My Train feature gains support for Mumbai local trains, with Kolkata local trains support anticipated soon.
Conclusion: With the introduction of real-time location sharing, Google Maps strives to offer a comprehensive and user-friendly solution for individuals seeking convenient ways to stay connected, share their whereabouts, and streamline navigation experiences. The feature’s integration aligns with Google’s commitment to improving the utility of its services for users worldwide.