Using simple technology, tell your loved ones where your smartphone is.
Once upon a time, locating friends and relatives on a map was regarded as Big Brother-style spying. It is now commonplace to share our position with loved ones through apps like Apple’s AAPL -1.36% Find My and Google Maps, even if they are thousands of miles away. There are also advantages for safety. One can make sure someone is occasionally checking my whereabouts when they go on a lone hike. That is until he or she finds themselves in a no-service zone, which has occasionally led to panic.
There are a couple of choices if you’re willing to let friends and relatives track you. You might try sharing temporarily. Both Uber and Lyft include links that let you share location, driver information and projected arrival time with your contacts. Google Maps offers intervals between 15 minutes and always, Apple’s Find My lets you share for an hour, the entire day, or permanently. When contacts open the app, they can see your present location, but not a history of your travels. Regardless of the app, you select, consider your options carefully before exposing your location eternally. Later stopping location sharing could lead to embarrassment. When you drop someone off, it’s more evident than unfriending someone on Facebook, even though Find My and Google Maps don’t let former friends know.
Here’s how to provide and cancel access to the well-known Life360 app, Apple, and Google:
- Apple Find My comes preloaded on Apple products, and it is incompatible with goods made by other firms. Because it uses system-level location, Find I shouldn’t require more battery if Location Services is enabled in Settings. With iOS 15, Find My for iPhones now displays live tracking when opened. By touching on a contact’s floating head, you may see when their location was most recently updated. Share by accessing the People tab in the Find My app. Choose to Share My Location, enter a contact’s name, press Send, and then specify how long you want to share your location with others. Tap on the contact’s name in the Find My app to revoke. Select Stop Sharing My Location by scrolling down. You’ll notice “You stopped sharing location with” in the iMessage conversation you had with that person. They receive a notification when you begin sharing your location with someone. But they don’t if you stop sharing. However, “Person removed” will appear in place of your floating head for any contacts who are tracking you using Find My home-screen widgets.
- The free iOS and Android apps for Google Maps have a location-sharing capability, making them a suitable option for households with a mix of operating systems. Your battery life may suffer a little. To save battery, the software periodically updates your location in the background. However, your phone transmits more frequent location updates while the contact is seeing you on Google Maps, a spokesman explained. Contacts may see when your location was last updated on the app. Additionally, it displays the battery level of your phone so people can see if you’re running low on power and understand why your location may soon stop updating. To share: Tap your profile picture in the Google Maps app, then tap Location sharing. Enter the contact’s name after selecting New share. Tap the contact’s name under Profile photo > Location sharing in the Maps app to cancel. Select Stop next to “Can see your location.”
- Popular family-friendly app Life360 outperforms Apple and Google by offering a driving report and two days’ worth of location history. Consumers of Life360 can join “circles” and are alerted when they are expelled from a circle. The map will show that you have left a circle but other users won’t be alerted. According to some companies, almost all consumers who use the app all day see a modest reduction in battery life—10% or less.
Some of the most important and private information that our devices record is location data. That data can be gathered by a wide range of services, including social media and weather, and is frequently sold to marketers or analysts of various companies without our knowledge. Your location data may potentially be given to law enforcement by tech companies. Big Tech monitoring us still seems a little unsettling. But in modern times, it’s frequently comforting to know that big friends and family are around.