Knowing where your loved ones are especially during crisis and conflicts is very important. From cult clashes to robberies and the current EndSARS protest, experience has shown that things can go south really fast.
At such times it’s important to know that our friends and family members are safe especially when they are in the region of the crisis. Location-sharing apps provide a way to know real-time locations of loved ones especially when you are unable to reach them through calls.
Nigeria is blowing hot from videos of soldiers shooting protesters to attacks by hoodlums and clashes between security forces and cults.
Although a lot of the rhetoric these days is about hiding your location from security, big companies like Facebook, Google, and other advertising platforms, knowing their location can help in easily finding loved ones in a situation when they need help. It can also give you peace of mind in a case where the location tells you the person is far from the crisis.
During the brutal shooting of peaceful protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate, loved ones took to social media to request help to search for loved ones. Slimton, a Twitter user asked for help finding his brother.
Like Slimton many others have also asked for help on social media. While this could help, a good precaution will be to share your location with friends and family. This will help locate each other in cases of crisis like the Lekki massacre and the general unrest around the country.
Either for safety or to keep track of loved ones, there are location-sharing apps available to you. Here are the best location-sharing apps for Android and iOS!
Google Maps (Android, Free)
For Androids, the default app for sharing location is Google Maps. Apart from providing real-time updates on journeys, and navigational advice, the app also has a really good location sharing option.
To use the feature, You simply add your friends or family to your Google Contacts. From there you open Google Maps, tap the profile image in the top right, and select the location Sharing option. It works for both the iOS and Android versions of the app.
Google map lets you set location sharing for both temporary or permanent access.
Its location sharing function is actually really good and it’s probably the best alternative to Apple’s Find My location sharing.
Find My Friends (iOS, Free)
On iOS, the default location sharing app is Find My Friends. It’s a built-in iOS option for Google Map’s share location feature.
To use the feature, you can easily share your location by choosing from your contacts, entering their email or phone number. After sharing, your friends can start following your location immediately and they can also share details of their own location. The app also makes it easy to hide your location with a simple switch in a case you want privacy.
Snapchat (Andriod/iOS, Free)
Aside from built-in apps, there are social apps that allow you to share locations. For example, Snapchat offers an optional location service option aside its video and message sharing on its platform.
To use it, simply enable the feature in settings and your friends can find you. It has some refined option depending on what you want like sending location to specific friends or all your friends.
Facebook Messenger (Andriod/iOS, Free)
Like Snapchat, Facebook Messenger is another social app that has a location sharing feature.
To use the feature, you can easily share your location and your friends can click on it and open a map. It’s quite easy to use but also gives Facebook access to your location so it may not be the best option if you are privacy conscious.
Find My Friends (Android, Free)
There are several third-party apps that help people share their location. Find My Friends on Android, like its iOS version, can help you locate where your friends are at any time.
It also gives direction to where you are and allows chatting with your friends while they’re en route to meeting up.
In cases of emergency, it can issue an alert to friends and loved ones if you ever need help. Attached to the alert are address details, the current time, and their current battery life. This can be a big assistance in a life or death situation
Life360’s Find My Family app (Android/iOS, Free)
Life360 is one of the most popular location-sharing apps on mobile. To use the app, simply download and create your own groups known as ‘Circles’ and you can view the real-time location of Circle Members on a private family map.
The app works across different mobile devices so it’s a cool option when connecting an Android to an iOS phone. In addition to its safety options, it can also serve as a form of tracker if your phone is missing or stolen.
Sharing locations helps reduce any anxiety you might feel when your loved ones travel or is an area of crisis.
Apart from the free version, it also has a subscription-based system for $2.99 a month. With this, you’ll receive 30 days of history, unlimited place alerts and local crime alerts. You can also receive driving analysis, 24/7 driver care support in the event of an accident along with crash detection for $7.99 a month
Glympse (Android/iOS, Free)
Another app location sharing app that is easy to use is Glympse. It is entirely free and doesn’t even require a sign up process. To share your location, you can eaasily drop an icon (Glympse) representing your real time location on the map for friends and can also get Glimpse from friends.
Glympse makes it possible to share locations with friends via the web while still remaining secure from strangers.
Apart from the conventional sharing, you can set up events so you can see where everybody is on the big day, or request a Glympse update from anyone you’re concerned about.
GeoZilla (Android, Free)
The final one on my list is GeoZilla. It is a good locator app for families. It shows you where the kids are and it shows the kids where you are. It has the usual location sharing features like a real-time map and geofencing.
However, it also has a kid monitoring feature that allows parents to check location histories, social sharing and also keeps an eye on each user’s daily activities through history.
The app has chat functions as well as a reminder feature that alerts a family member any time they enter a particular area. You can try it for free for three days but it costs $59.99 for a yearly subscription. So you can try it out before you commit.
In summary, location-sharing apps pose a risk of exposing personal privacy and can easily be exploited for corporate gain. However, there are situations where friends and family knowing your locations could be a lifesaver.
Moreover, there are several apps listed above that reduce possibility of losing your privacy. So check them out carefully before selecting your choice.
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