If used responsibly, Google Maps’ location sharing feature is a great and potentially lifesaving way to keep tabs on friends and family. The live-look tool makes it possible to see how close people are to their destination, but also enables you to plot a route to a friend if you need to pick them up.
However, it can be scary sometimes. When you spot that friend hasn’t moved from the roadside in half an hour, it’s easy to start worrying about their wellbeing. If the live location shows them still in the pub, when they’re supposed to be on the way home for the dinner you’ve lovingly prepared, it’s easy to become angry.
Thankfully, Google is remedying this with a new feature that tells the respondent exactly how much battery the person sharing their location has left on their phone. The data also shows whether the phone is charging or not. So if you’re worried, you’ll be able to see that they person is likely fine, just out of juice. Likewise in the pub/dinner anger scenario.
Related: Android P latest
Android Police first spotted the feature, which appears to be rolling out on both iOS and Android from today. The same site spotted its existence way back in February with an apk teardown. Back then the feature was simply offering approximate battery life, but now it shows the precise data (accurately the report says), similar to the firm’s ‘find my phone feature’.
Google Maps enables users to share their location from the main menu. Users can choose the length of time they wish to share their real-time location, who they want to share it with and how they want to share it. Respondents will now be able to see the positioning live on a Google Map of their own, with all of the relevant battery data.
Will this feature help set your mind at ease? Or will it blow up your cover whenever you skip a call and say ‘sorry, my battery died’. Drop us a line @TrustedReviews on Twitter.