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Share your location from an iPhone or Apple Watch



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Apple makes it easy to share your location with friends and family through the Find My network. You can also share your location with Android users using third party services such as Google Maps or WhatsApp. Here̵

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Make sure you are comfortable sharing your location

Sharing your location from a smart device is something you should only do if you absolutely trust the person you are sharing with. Sharing your location using the methods outlined in this article will allow someone to track you in near real time.

This is a very effective method of keeping an eye on someone, and much better than using a passive Bluetooth tracker like Apple’s AirTags. It’s useful to find people in a crowded place, such as a music festival, to track someone’s travels abroad, or just to see how far someone is if they are late for a catch-up.

Search for Apple AirTag via Find My

Keep in mind that if you do this, your exactly place. Whatever device you share, it will try to locate you as best it can, that is, within 12 inches under ideal GPS conditions.

When someone looks up your location using Apple’s Find My network, Apple asks which device you chose to share from to provide a GPS fix. This is then sent back to Apple and shared with whoever has permission to do so. This process can be repeated approximately every 30 seconds.

Track objects

Apple AirTag

Apple’s AirTags are great for finding objects, but the location sharing tips here are much better for finding people.

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How to share your location with other Apple users

Location sharing works best on an iPhone with other Apple users. The technology driving the feature is baked into iOS, the iPhone’s operating system. The system treats it as a core service, so it should rarely fail. It has permission to always run in the background if you choose to use it.

Contrast this with an external service like Google Maps, which is not treated as a core service, but as an app like any other. Even with Background App Refresh enabled, sometimes third-party services don’t work because the app is unresponsive or doesn’t have the correct permissions.

Apple's Find My Network runs on Apple Devices Hero

When sharing your location from an Apple device, do it with someone else’s Apple ID. Anyone you’ve shared with can view your location using the Find My app built into iOS or the Messages app (tap a contact’s name at the top of a conversation, followed by Info to view them on a map. to see.).

Whatever device you use to set up location sharing, the device is used to request your location. So if you set up location sharing on your iPad, the location of your iPad will be reported as your location. For this reason, it’s best to use your iPhone or an Apple Watch (if you have one).

Share location from an iPhone

There are two ways to share your location with someone: using the Messages app or the Find My app.

To share via Messages, start (or open) a conversation with the person or group you want to share with, then tap the contact (or group) name at the top of the screen, followed by the “Info” button.

Share location with messages Contact

Now tap on “Share My Location” and choose a time frame that suits you. You can choose to share an hour, a day or indefinitely.

Share my location in messages

You can also share your location using the Find My app built into your iPhone (if you can’t find it, try updating your iPhone’s software.). First, launch the app and make sure you are on the “People” tab.

Find my app

Tap “Share My Location,” then enter the name, phone number, or email address of the person you want to share with (the other party needs an Apple ID for this to work properly).

Share location via Find My app

Finally, click “Send” to share your location.

Share location from an Apple Watch

Sharing your location from an Apple Watch is as easy as it is from an iPhone using the Find People app. Your Apple Watch always uses your iPhone’s location unless you are out of range of your iPhone and you have an Apple Watch that has both GPS and cellular connectivity.

This is done to save your Apple Watch battery, but it also simplifies the whole process. The only time your Apple Watch is used to locate you is when your iPhone detects you are out of range. If you have a GPS only model, your iPhone will be the only location reported even when out of range.

Apple Watch Find People app

To share your location from your Apple Watch, launch the People Search app and tap “Share My Location” at the bottom of the list.

Share my location via Apple Watch

Tap the microphone icon (to dictate), the contact icon (to choose from existing contacts), or the keyboard (to enter a phone number) and specify who you want to share with.

Share location with a contact

After selecting a contact, choose how long you want to share your location.

Share location duration on Apple Watch

Your location will now be shared for the time you specified.

Share your location with Apple Family Sharing

Family Sharing is Apple’s inclusive family plan that allows you to share iCloud storage and subscriptions to services such as Music and TV +. Family Sharing must be set up by the family organizer for this to work.

Once other family members have been added, they can enable location sharing by launching Settings, tapping their name at the top of the list, then tapping “Find My” and turning on the “Share My Location” switch.

From here, tap on all the family members listed at the bottom to decide whether or not to share your location with them. To stop sharing, go to this menu and turn off “Share my location” or tap each family member and make changes.

Opting out of Family Sharing will also prevent your location from being shared.

How to see or change who you share with

It’s a good idea to check who you’re sharing with from time to time. It’s really easy to share your location with someone in a few taps, and it’s even possible for someone else to covertly set this up on your device if you leave it unattended and unlocked for a short period of time.

Find my settings

To see who you’re sharing your location with, launch the Settings app on your iPhone and tap your name at the top of the list. Tap “Find My” to see your current sharing options, including a list of people you share with at the bottom of the screen.

Stop sharing location with Apple Contact

Tap a person, then scroll to the bottom of the screen and tap “Stop Sharing My Location” to turn the feature off. If you want to share your location again, you will need to share it again using the instructions above.

How to Share Your Location with Android Users

Sharing your location using Apple’s services isn’t always ideal, especially if your friends are on Android or Windows. In this case, you will have to fall back on a third-party service such as Google Maps or WhatsApp messenger.

While these are by no means the only two options, they are two of the most popular. In the case of WhatsApp, you can share your location with an entire group chat if needed.

Share location via Google Maps

To share your location via Google Maps, you need to download Google Maps for iPhone and then register or log in to a Google account.

Launch Google Maps on your iPhone and tap your user icon in the top right corner.

Google Maps user icon

In the menu that appears, tap Share Location, followed by Share Location.

Google Maps Share location

Decide how long you want to share your location or select ‘Until you turn this off’ to share it indefinitely. You can then select a contact from your Google contacts or tap “More options” to share a link to Messages or another app of your choice.

Invite share location via Google Maps

Finally, check that Google Maps has the required permission levels to accurately report your location. Go to Settings and scroll down until you find Google Maps.

Google Maps Location settings

You need to turn on Precise Location and change ‘Allow Location Access’ to ‘Always’ so that Google Maps can look up your location even if you haven’t opened the app. You need to make sure Background App Refresh and Mobile Data are both turned on (they are turned on by default).

Share location via WhatsApp

You can also share your location via WhatsApp from 15 minutes to 8 hours. Unfortunately, it is not possible to share your location with your WhatsApp contacts indefinitely.

Launch WhatsApp, sign in and select or start a conversation with the person or group you want to share your location with. Tap the plus ‘+’ icon near the notification bar and select ‘Location’, followed by ‘Share live location’.

Share WhatsApp location

If you have not already done so, WhatsApp will tell you to allow the app to access your location even if you are not using it. You can complete this step under Settings> WhatsApp by changing “Location” to “Always” and ensuring that Precise Location is turned on.

Enable location permissions for WhatsApp

You should also enable “Background apps refresh” and “Mobile data” if they are not already enabled.

Share location with WhatsApp

Go back to WhatsApp and choose how long you want to share your location. Add a caption and hit the send button to share. Your contact or group can now look up your location for the specified duration.

Location sharing must be reciprocal

Location sharing works best as a reciprocal function. If someone insists that you share your location with them, insist that they do the same if it makes sense.

When you share your location, you share more than just your immediate place of residence. You may also share your home and work addresses, the locations of your friends or partners, and your daily habits. Make sure you can trust the person you are sharing with and remember to unsubscribe at any time.

Not using an iPhone? Learn how to quickly share your location from an Android device.

RELATED: Quickly share your location in a text message on Android




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