Google Silently Updates a Key Google Maps Feature

Sharing the real-time location is one helpful feature in Google Maps, as it allows a contact to track you on the map for as long as you allow them to.
The old and the new UI for location sharing 1 photo
Photo: AP
While other apps like WhatsApp also come with support for live location, the one in Google Maps is obviously a lot more useful, simply because most people use the app for navigation.

And now it looks like Google wants to make sharing the real-time location a bit more straightforward, and the company silently released a series of refinements in the latest update for the app on Android. There’s a good chance similar changes would go live on iPhone shortly as well.

Beginning with this new update, the location sharing interface features a new UI and the whole thing requires fewer steps.

The location sharing menu is still available under your profile picture, but once you enable it, the interface is much more simplified in a way that reminds of Google’s improved Material Design language.

Spotted by AP, the change comes with a “New share” button that shows up on the screen right after enabling live location sharing, with the contacts getting access to the information now displayed at the bottom of the screen.

The sharing prompt has been simplified as well, and Google has added a drop-down menu to let you decide for how long your contacts have access to location data.

Needless to say, this is a feature that mostly comes in handy to those who use Google Maps on their phones, as such functionality is missing from the Android Auto version of the app. But given not everybody has an Android Auto-capable head unit, there are lots of drivers out there who use their phones for navigation with Google Maps and Waze, so Google’s silent updates are without a doubt welcome, especially if they make their way to the iPhone too.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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