The idea is to Share your location with friends and families in times when you need to let them know of your exact whereabouts. As simple as it may sound, Google Maps was not exactly made for this. Yes, your phone has always kept a log of where you are at any given moment, but these settings are manually adjustable—even for location-based mobile applications. Some apps, for example, will ask you if you would like to turn the location reporting or location history on or off. With the new “share location” option, now users can broadcast their movements.

Is it safe?

To be fair, the location-monitoring capacity of mobile apps, especially for the more recent Android apps, have been the subject of debate: are they tracking you without your permission or are they not? Google Maps lets users choose how long they want a person to “track” their real-time locations globally. It’s not just restricted to friends and families. You can choose any of your contacts to share the information with. Users let others know of their locations by copying a link and sending it out over a messaging app.

This feature could be especially handy for social events, like a party or an expected time of arrival from one. Google Maps user will have the option to stop sharing their locations, but if this option is not set, it will remind people that they’re still sharing their whereabouts.

You would think that this setting is automatic, but no. What has been happening so far is people turning on and off their location history on their own or for an individual app. To some, Google Maps' share location features is a lot like Google Latitude, which was retired in 2013.

Other mapping features

Google has long added the ability to guess your driving destination in Driving Mode.

Google will then display traffic updates, estimated time of arrivals, and detours before you enter your destinations. It looks at your location history and searches to make a guess. Another feature called your places lets you label locations as saved or visited. Your timeline, which is a smart way to help you remember all the places you have been to.