Messaging apps like WhatsApp, Signal and others have long had an option to share your location with your contacts. It’s a quick way to let your friends and family know where you are or send them your live location to help them navigate. Now, Google is also bringing real-time location sharing natively on the Maps app on Android, iOS, and PC. Google users can share their live location with their contacts via the Location Sharing option in Maps.
With the Location Sharing feature on Google Maps, you can choose who can access your location details and for how long. There are also a few nifty additions to normal live location sharing present on messaging apps. For example, with Google Maps Location Sharing, people you share your location with can also see your device’s battery power and if it’s charging. And you can also share your estimated time of arrival if you’re navigating to a destination.
According to Google’s support page on Location Sharing, the feature also works when Location History is turned off in Maps. The feature works pretty much the same way on Android and iOS. To start sharing your location, head to the Google Maps app on your Android device, iPhone or iPad, tap the profile icon on the top right, and select Location Sharing. You will then get an option to choose how long you want to share your location (you can select to share you location for up to one full day, or choose to share it until you turn off Location Sharing), along with a list of Google contacts you can share your location with. You can tap the profile of a contact and select Share.
To share you location outside Google contacts, you can select More options in the Location Sharing menu and share the link for your real-time location via other messaging apps like WhatsApp and iMessage. To stop sharing your location, you can tap the profile of the person you’re sharing your location with and select Stop.
You can also share your estimated time of arrival (ETA) with a contact while navigating to a destination on Google Maps. To do so, open Maps, set a destination, and start navigation. Then, tap More and select Share trip progress to share your route with a contact. Location sharing automatically stops when you reach your destination or when you stop navigation.
Last month, Google Maps introduced a few India-focussed features at its Building for India event in New Delhi. The tech giant showcased features like Live view walking, Lens in Maps, fuel efficient routing, address descriptors, local trains support, among others. According to Google, Live view walking navigation is coming to 3,000 cities in the country. The Where Is My Train feature, which lets users track trains, is set to add support for Mumbai local trains. Local trains support for Kolkata is coming soon, too.