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Google maps is making you safer by offering a new feature

(TECH NEWS) Google Maps has added a feature that is sure to keep you safer when using Maps.

google maps

Hope for the perpetually lost

Good news for people (like me) who seem to be perpetually lost, and cannot locate familiar faces, let alone strangers, in busy places!

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Google Maps is adding a feature that will soon let you share your real-time location with other pre-authorized users. It will be available worldwide on both Android and iOS.

No more awkward landmarks

The era of standing below the clock tower, or next to the Taco stand or awkwardly sitting on a park bench are finally over!

No more yelling, craning necks, whistling or yodeling at concerts and conferences.

Google Maps simply shares a link of your current location map via your chosen messaging app with your chosen recipient, who can monitor it on their phones or even desktop and mobile web browsers.

Blue dot pick up spot

Just tap the blue dot on the Google Maps screen (indicating your current position) and choose “share location”, and choose your recipient. It is that simple!

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Your rendezvous is wherever the two approaching blue dots meet!

The turn-by-turn navigation screen also allows location sharing, but availing that option would mean that when both users reach their chosen destination, the sharing would end by default.

Pick your share time

The time of sharing is limited, for now. Interval ranges from 15 minutes to 3 days, which is quite agreeable.

You should not really need more than 3 days to track someone else’s whereabouts.

It gets a little creepy after that, even when it is beloved family members.

Too much sharing

An especially useful feature for forgetful people (again, like me) is an icon that appears on the Maps screen, clearly indicating and reminding users that real-time sharing is active.

In addition, Google, says, it will send reminders to users both in the app and via email, if real-time sharing is active.

You can always turn off real-time location sharing at any point you want—including before the original set timer runs out.

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Where there’s a will

Location sharing is a sensitive topic, with serious legal implications, especially amongst privacy advocates.

Google pointed out in an interview to TechCrunch, “Anyone with bad intentions can find many other apps and means out there.”

Their effort “is about making things simple, accessible and giving people that access to transparency”, Google said.

Reminders galore

This is true. Although real-time location sharing is a new feature on Google Maps, the product itself is quite similar to Google Latitude and the features of its Location Alerts Feature.

Similar features also exist in the Waze app, which Google owns.

Within a month, Google has added many new features into its Maps, like useful parking spot reminders, or sharing favorite local spots, and even linking options to ride-hailing services.

Google Maps revamp

Google Maps has actually become a key contributor to Google’s advertising.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Analysts contend that Google’s new effort comes as a response to Apple’s improvements of its own Maps.” quote=”Analysts of the industry contend that this heightened effort of revamping the Maps comes as a direct response to Apple’s recent improvements of its own Maps.”]
The competition is firing up, and customers are surely to win in the process!

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No more location lying

But the tardy amongst us, BEWARE! If you are running late for Sunday brunch, and sharing your location, but tell your friends over phone “I’m looking for parking as we speak”, you better not be brushing your teeth in your pajamas.
Those days are well over. And it’s a good thing.

#BlueDotMarksTheSpot

Barnil is a Staff Writer at The American Genius. With a Master's Degree in International Relations, Barnil is a Research Assistant at UT, Austin. When he hikes, he falls. When he swims, he sinks. When he drives, others honk. But when he writes, people read.

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