Google Maps enables real-time location sharing

The tech giant also rolled out updates Allo, Duo, and Photos, as well as a new way for organizations to share information via Search.
Written by Stephanie Condon, Senior Writer

Google Maps on Wednesday introduced a new feature that allows users to selectively share their location with others, including their progress if they're on the way to a specific destination.

The new feature is rolling out globally "soon," Google said in a blog post.

By going to the side menu or tapping the blue dot that represents your location, you can select "share location." You can select specific people to share with, as well as for how long you'd like to share this information. If you're about to start navigating to a specific location, you can select "share trip" so others can track your progress and see your expected arrival time.

As long as you're sharing your location, there will be an icon on the app as a reminder. Both Android and iOS versions of Maps will have the feature, and the person you're sharing with will be able to view your location on Google Maps from their phone or desktop.

Location-sharing is already a fairly common feature found on various apps, and it's one of multiple enhancements that Google's made to Maps recently. Earlier this week, it introduced a "parking location" feature. Google also recently integrated ride-sharing apps into Maps and added real-time estimates of how crowded a place is.

Google announced its location-sharing feature and several other product updates at an event in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Its instant messaging app Allo now lets Android users share documents and other files, while Brazilian Allo users are now getting access to the "Smart Smiley" feature in Portuguese. Meanwhile, the new video calling service Duo now includes audio-only calling. The feature is available now in Brazil and will be rolled out elsewhere in the coming days.

Google is also changing up Search, letting certain organizations post their own content directly into Search results. Specifically, in the US and Brazil, searches for museums, sports teams, sports leagues and movies may bring up content directly from relevant organizations or people who've gone through the application process. The feature is also available to musicians in Brazil.

Additionally, Google announced new Google Photos features that make it easier to share photos and videos on low connectivity.

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