Tech Tip: Finding All Your Friends on the Map

Tech Tip: Finding All Your Friends on the Map

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Q. Can an Android phone work with the iPhone’s Find My Friends app?

A. By using the iOS location services feature, Apple’s free Find My Friends app displays the whereabouts of participating friends and family on a map, but it is not really a cross-platform program. The app is designed to work with iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch devices running iOS 8 or later, as well as Apple Watches with watchOS 3 and browsers logged into iCloud.com.

Google Maps recently introduced an optional location-sharing feature that allows friends, family members and other approved contacts to see one another’s whereabouts for a specified time.

Credit
The New York Times

You may be able to view iPhone users from an Android phone by requesting the desktop version of iCloud.com and logging in with an Apple ID, but things can be easier. Third-party apps that work on both Android and iOS are one solution — Familonet Family Locator and Safety, Glympse, GeoZilla and Life360 are among the free or inexpensive programs; all offer real-time location sharing, messaging and other features. Snapchat recently introduced its Snap Map tool for its users to find each other, but make sure you understand the privacy implications before using it.

This year, Google announced it had added real-time location sharing to its Google Maps app for Android and iOS, as well as for desktop and mobile web browsers. If all the users involved have Google accounts (even if they do not use Android hardware), make sure their Gmail addresses are in your Google Contacts list. Then open the Google Maps app, select the menu button in the upper-left corner and tap Share Location.

Add the people you want to include, select the amount of time you wish to be visible to them and tap the Share button. (If your friends and family do not have Google accounts, you can send them a temporary map link instead.) To see the shared locations, open the Google Maps menu again, select Share Location and choose the name of the person in your sharing list.

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