Just last week we noted that Google Maps’ new location sharing feature was going to appear on devices in the not too distant future, and it seems we’re now living in the future: the Maps location sharing feature is now here.
While browsing Maps tonight (to look at the route I was planning for later this week), I noticed the new sharing feature had arrived in the menu. The process seems really simple to use, as we discussed last week. Basically you tap sharing, select who you want to share with and how long, and you can share via email, SMS, Telegram, or basically anywhere that lets you share text (it shares as a link). Interestingly, if you share with someone who has a Google Maps account, they don’t have to open the email or SMS; your location will simply appear on their map for however long you’ve shared it.
I’ve tested this out this evening with Rachel (who uses Google Maps on iOS) and the feature works fairly flawlessly. We’ve long used Glympse to share things with each other (and with other family members) and it has been a really useful tool; having it integrated into Google Maps means potentially one less app to use when travelling.
That said, Glympse does a few things a bit better than Maps does, but I can’t help but feel that Google’s level of integration will see this feature improve over time. One neat inclusion is the ability to share directly from a current navigation session, allowing you to readily share your journey with anyone who needs to know where you are, or when you might arrive.
While I’ll probably still use Glympse for some family members who are familiar with that (and who don’t need to be complicating things further with The Next New App), Google Maps location sharing will certainly find a place for others who use Google Maps regularly.
Let us know if it’s arrived on your phone … and you should all be able to try it out soon!