Google Maps will soon users to share their location with friends
Google is about to allow its popular Maps app to share the location of users.
As part of a new Google Maps feature update, which is thought to be launching soon, Google is adding a tool that allows users to share their real time location.
This will mean friends and family will able to see exactly where they are at any specific time.
The feature is made possible via the GPS that's included in all modern smartphones – which can pinpoint a position to within a few metres.
Many apps, such Apple's Find Friends, already include tracking and it can be incredibly useful for locating friends and for parents to keep an eye on their children as they make their way to school.
However, not everyone is going to like the thought of being spied on.
Don't panic too much though, Google's not going to let people see your location without your express permission first.
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As well as being able to set a pre-defined time, the app also lets you opt to share your location indefinitely.
It's suggested that users who opt for the latter will be sent emails reminders every three weeks to ensure they're still keen to keep their current location visible to select users.
Google has confirmed the new location-sharing feature will be rolled out to all iOS and Android-based Google Maps users worldwide "soon".
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Once you've received the update, to activate the feature, you'll need to head into Maps's side menu or click on the blue location dot.
Here, tapping "Share Location" will let you do just that, picking who you want to make your location visible to, and how long you'd like to let them know your whereabouts.
Google won't allow people to see your location unless you've agreed first
You'll be able to share your location with existing Google contacts, or with friends using popular messaging services such as text or WhatsApp.
Those who receive your location will be able to track you in real time using their own Google Maps app, their mobile browser on via their internet-connected computer.
"When you're sharing your location, the people you've chosen to share with will see you on their map," Google explained in unveiling the feature.
"You'll see an icon above the compass on your own map reminding you that you're actively sharing your location.
"You can change your mind and stop sharing at any time – it's entirely up to you."
This update comes as Google has confirmed its Maps app will soon help drivers.
A new feature being added to the Google Maps app will allow drivers to save the location of parked car on their smartphone.
Using location services, the car is then represented by a blue marker inside the app, meaning you’ll always know where it is.
You can also start a timer which will let you know how long you have got left on your parking meter, helping you avoid a fine.