Google Maps introduces new phone tracking features so you know your family and friends (probably) aren’t being disembowelled in a gutter

Not to be reveal myself as easily alarmed, but I am easily alarmed when my friends share their locations with me and then the little dot stops moving and when I try to call, I get no answer. Yes, I know that there’s a myriad of totally reasonable explanations why, like dead zones, silent mode, just not wanting to pick up the phone, the phone battery is out of juice, serial killers it’s serial killers, whatever – but with the constant coverage of horrible things happening to people, I can’t help but worry. And it seems like the folks at Google totally understand the concerns of helicopter friends like me.

First picked up by AndroidPolice back in February, Google Maps has added a new functionality to their location sharing which allows the receiver to see how much battery life the person sharing their location currently has. That means no more wondering if your buddies and family members are in trouble, or only have 3% battery life between them and the medieval ages when the little dot stops moving.

Whilst the update is cool and will no doubt serve to put a lot of minds at ease, TechCrunch notes that Google weren’t the first company to have the idea. Social map app Zenly – now owned by SnapChat – debuted a similar feature back in 2016.

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