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Google Maps adds real-time location sharing

Google Maps users can now share their real-time location with friends and family as part of a new update to the app.

Available on both iOS and Android, the option is conveniently located inside the menu, or by tapping on the blue dot indicating your location. (via)

From there you can choose who you want to share your whereabouts with and how long you want to do so for.

Anyone chosen to see your location can then see where you are in real time across a range of platforms including smartphones, tablets, mobile web browsers, and desktop.

Even though getting lost has almost become a thing of the past in the age of smartphones, this feature could be very useful when trying to meet friends in an exact place inside a larger location. Having a picnic in a park for example.

Apple has offered something similar in the shape of its Find My Friends feature for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch for some time and, as a result, Google doesn’t feel it’s anything revolutionary.

“We don’t feel like we are changing the game,” said Jen Fitzpatrick, Google’s vice president of Maps.

Whilst this is a very useful addition to Maps, privacy campaigners are concerned, with one even worried that it opens the door for abuse.

“It has the potential to be another tool in an abuser’s toolkit,” stated Ruth Glenn, executive director for the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Related: Google Maps tips and tricks

Watch: Best smartphones in the world

Is this the most useful feature offered by Google Maps? Let us know in the comments below.

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