This Android alternative to Apple’s Find My service might be even better

Apple’s Find My app doesn’t really have an equivalent on Android, but Google Maps has a fairly similar, very interesting feature. Here’s how you can take advantage of it.

For those who have an iPhone, sharing their location with friends or family is very simple. The Find My app (formerly Find My Friends) lets you know where your friends, devices, and important things are. But on android, there is no real equivalent. You won’t find a “Share Location” when messaging your contacts on the Pixel, Galaxy, or OnePlus. But this alternative might be even more useful than Apple’s app.

When you want to share your location on Android with a friend, don’t go through a third-party app. Use a Google app instead: Google Maps. It is a perfect solution to know where your loved ones are. And the best part of it all? It is not limited to one platform. So you can find your friends on Android and iPhone. You can even take advantage of Google Maps location sharing on a computer since it’s linked to your Google Account.

The feature requires that you have your friend’s Gmail address in your Google contacts. On iPhone, you’ll also need to grant Google Maps permission to the iOS Contacts app. It requires a Gmail address for clear tracking, but if the contact doesn’t have Gmail, you can send them a location link. This link is only valid for 24 hours. Of course, Google Maps must also have access to your location. If you have enabled “Allow only during use” (Android) or “While using the app” (iOS), change it via phone settings. But don’t panic, Google Maps will tell you if the right permissions aren’t allowed.

To get started, open Google Maps, tap your profile in the top-right corner, and select “Location Sharing.” Tap on “Share Location” and you will see the settings menu. Here you can choose how long you want to share (between 15 minutes and 24 hours), but if you want a real experience like Apple’s Find My, choose “Until disabled”. This will share your location indefinitely unless you manually decide to stop.

Under this option, you will see all the Google accounts you have in your Google contacts. Tap on everyone you want to share with. If you have Gmail addresses in your contacts other than Google, tap “More” to see them (you’ll need to give Gmail permission if you haven’t already).

Once you’ve selected your contacts, tap “Share”. If you need to adjust the permissions, Google will notify you. Otherwise it’s all good! Your friends will receive your location and will be able to see where you are in relation to them, your address and even the remaining level of your battery. To stop sharing, go back to the location sharing settings, tap the switch in the list and select Stop.

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