Google is adding a new feature to its Maps service that parents are going to love and teenagers may loathe—it's the ability to share real-time location tracking data with select individuals or groups, along with an estimated time of arrival to whatever the destination might be. While that may sound like an invasion of privacy, it is completely optional and is something that might prove handy in a variety of situations.
Tracking your teen driver as he or she heads out to a concert or some other event is just one example. Maybe you have relatives visiting from out of state—being able to track their location could replace sending a text message every hour asking for an update. And with a reliable ETA, it would allow you to plan for their arrival so you're not sitting at home all day or evening.
"Next time you’re on your way or running late, you can share your real-time location and trip progress from navigation as well. During your next trip, tap the 'More' button on the bottom on the navigation screen, and then tap 'Share trip'. When you share your trip with people, they’ll see your expected arrival time and can follow your journey as you head toward your destination. Sharing automatically ends when you arrive," Google explains.
When you want to let someone know where you are, open up Google Maps and access the side menu or tap the blue dot that represents where you are. From there you can select "Share location" and select who to share with and for how long. That's all there is to it.
The new feature will allow you to share real-time tracking with your Google contacts, or by sending a link. Those who have permission to track your progress will see you on their map. On your own map, you'll see an icon above the compass to remind you that you've shared your location. You can stop sharing at any time, too.
Google has not yet rolled this feature out but says it will be available soon on a worldwide basis for both Android and iOS.