With all of the advances in technology we have witnessed, there are some things that we simply do not have to do anymore. One of these things is trying to explain or describe where we are, what our current location is, to friends or family. Sure, there are apps that you can find on the App Store to help with this, but you already have everything you need to do location sharing thanks to some tools built right into your iOS device.
Need to share your location right now?
The Messages app on your iPhone or iPad is perfectly capable of sharing your current location in very easy, fast ways. And there are various reasons you would want to do this. Say you are on a long road trip alone and your car breaks down. Although you have an idea of where you are approximately, trying to explain it to your spouse who is on his or her way to help takes too much time, especially if you are stranded on the side of a creepy country road at night.
When you pop open the Messages app and tap your contact, just select the info icon at the top right corner (it’s the “i” with a circle around it). Then, under Location, pick Send My Current Location. Your contact will receive your location via text message with a small map. They can then get directions right to you with a simple tap.
It gets even easier thanks to Siri being built into the iOS 10 keyboard.
Another really cool way to share your exact location is the predictive feature built into the default iOS keyboard. As long as you haven’t turned this off, if someone asks you for your location, the keyboard will automatically suggest that you send your current location on a map. It’s one of those magic moments you have when using your iOS device. You don’t have to do anything to set this up, but if you don’t see it, make sure “Predictive” is turned under Keyboard on in the Settings app.
Want to show your spots through the day?
You may notice another feature in the Location section of the Messages app that says Share My Location. When you select this option, you can choose to share your spot for an hour, until the end of the day, or indefinitely. This will then share your location, similar to the first option described, but only for the time frame you have chosen.
Why is this handy? There are several reasons that sharing your location based on a time frame is convenient. Think about using this for that day at a large amusement park with your family or imagine letting your friends know where you are for the evening when you are on a date with someone you just met.
For both convenience and safety, sharing your location with this timed feature is a great one. Once the time frame is up, your contact will no longer be able to see a map of your location (unless, of course, you choose the indefinite option).
Ready to say “meet me here?”
Share your location with the Maps app.
Aside from the aforementioned Messages app options, you can also share your location from the Maps app on your iOS device, but in a slightly different way.
When you open the Maps app and see your location, just select the sharing icon from the top right corner. You can then send your current spot via text message or email, post it to Facebook, or select another of your configured options.
If you send it via text message, for example, it will show up for your recipient as mentioned above, enabling him or her to select it and get directions with a tap. This is really convenient if you already have the Maps app open, since you do not have to open the Messages app to send your location. You can then add a “meet me here” message.
Need to keep tabs on others for safety?
Yet another easily accessible sharing option on your device is Find My Friends. This is terrific if you and your friends are planning to meet up for dinner or a night on the town. You can pop open the app, choose your contacts, and send your current location to them all at once via email, phone number, or AirDrop if they are nearby. Without any messaging involved, they will know exactly where to meet up with you.
Another neat option using Find My Friends is to notify your chosen contacts of your location right away, when you leave, or when you arrive. Again, this is terrific if your spouse says, “Please let me know when you leave work.” Without having to text or call, he or she will know when you head out the door and are headed home.
There are also departing and arrival notifications you can set up for others. These alerts are particularly great for parents who can feel better knowing when their children leave for or get home safely from school without having to check in.
If you did not receive Find My Friends with your last iOS update or deleted it and would like it back, you can get the app for free on the App Store.
Stop asking “where are you?”
As you can see, there are many reasons for sharing your location with the convenient tools on your iOS device. From getting help when you are stranded to meeting up with your family at the end of the day to planning a fun night out to knowing that your loved ones are home safely, you have the tools. After all, sharing is caring.