Google just announced a handy new Maps feature that should make it easier to find your friends on your next night out.
On the iOS and Android versions of the app, you'll be able to share your location with anyone in real time. The people who you share your location with will be able to see where you are on Android, iPhone, the mobile web and even a desktop. Google expects to start rolling out the feature worldwide some time "soon," according to a blog post from Maps Engineering Manager Daniel Resnick.
When it launches, you'll just need to open the side menu or tap the blue dot that represents where you are to share your location. From there, tap "Share location," select who to share with and how long and the app will let you send a link to the recipient with your whereabouts.
"When you're sharing your location, the people you've chosen to share with will see you on their map," Resnick explained. "And you'll see an icon above the compass on your own map reminding you that you're actively sharing your location." Rest assured that you can change your mind and stop sharing your location whenever you want.
You can also share your location from navigation to let your friends know exactly where you are and when you'll arrive. Just tap the "More" button at the bottom of the navigation screen, then press "Share trip."
"When you share your trip with people, they'll see your expected arrival time and can follow your journey as you head toward your destination," Resnick wrote. "Sharing automatically ends when you arrive."
Google released a version of this in 2009, dubbed Latitude. It offered up a user's rough location, placing their profile picture on a map accessible through a PC or mobile device. Eventually, Google added check-in functionality to Latitude as a challenge to Foursquare, but Latitude was axed in 2013 as Google tried to push people to Google+.