Keeping up with your children’s whereabouts can be a full-time job. If you’ve ever sent a text asking your child “Where are you?” a service available on most smartphones might spare you a little time and worry: location sharing.
Location sharing is a built-in feature within both Apple® and Android phone messaging apps. Users have strong control over privacy features:
- Choose who can see their location (single contact or a group)
- Limit duration of the sharing (once, a specific period or indefinitely)
- Delete any unwanted geo tags. While location services are active, photos and posts to Facebook and other social sites are automatically tagged with your location.
If you still aren’t convinced this could be a useful feature for you, consider these scenarios:
- Your college student is going on a weekend road trip with friends. You’re worried about road conditions and want to keep an eye on their progress.
- Your teen driver has specific instructions to text you when she arrives at her destination. She’s stuck in traffic.
- Your son needs a ride home when the team bus returns to school, but it has hit a detour.
- You are horrible at giving directions and would prefer to just send someone a map to get to you! (my personal favorite)
Instructions for how to enable location sharing are available online.
- How to share your location with iOS 8 (without creeping yourself out)
- How to quickly share your location in iMessage for iOS 8
Currently, location sharing included within messaging apps works only with Apple-Apple or Android-Android sharing. To share your location with others across platforms, check your app store for options. Your wireless provider also may have location sharing services either free or at a monthly cost. Be cautious if selecting a provider app – the carrier’s coverage network impacts GPS reliability.