Google Maps will let people track your movements

Organising a meeting with a large group of people is always a chore, involving games of telephone tag and constant messages to the tune of "where are you" and "what time are you getting here". Thankfully, however, Google Maps' new location sharing feature is set to make this a thing of the past.

Using location data gathered via your phone's GPS, the new feature lets you provide your friends with real-time tracking information, allowing them to see your location, route and ETA.

While the announcement may prompt privacy concerns from some, Google has assured users that they won't be permanently broadcasting their location. Your location will only be shared with contacts when you explicitly choose to, it automatically ends when you reach your destination and you can even cancel it mid-journey if you feel like it.

"Location sharing on Google Maps is rolling out soon worldwide," the company said as part of a blog post announcing the feature. Users will only be able to share their location via the iOS and Android apps, but contacts will be able to view locations that have been shared with them via the web and desktop apps as well.

The feature is notably similar to iOS's 'Find My Friends' function, which is an established part of Apple's ecosystem. The crucial difference between the two services, however, is that Find My Friends does not offer real time tracking.

Adam Shepherd

Adam Shepherd has been a technology journalist since 2015, covering everything from cloud storage and security, to smartphones and servers. Over the course of his career, he’s seen the spread of 5G, the growing ubiquity of wireless devices, and the start of the connected revolution. He’s also been to more trade shows and technology conferences than he cares to count.

Adam is an avid follower of the latest hardware innovations, and he is never happier than when tinkering with complex network configurations, or exploring a new Linux distro. He was also previously a co-host on the ITPro Podcast, where he was often found ranting about his love of strange gadgets, his disdain for Windows Mobile, and everything in between.

You can find Adam tweeting about enterprise technology (or more often bad jokes) @AdamShepherUK.