Since the revelation of the iPhone, connecting with your family and friends has never been easier. From applications such as FaceTime, to Wi-Fi enabled messaging programs such as iMessage, all you need is a smartphone to feel close to friends and family that may not necessarily be physically close by.
Another comfort Apple has provided is allowing users the ability to share their location with friends and family. This is not only useful for purposes of safety, but also for providing others with a pinpointed destination when meeting up. Thanks to the GPS on your device, you no longer have to guide your friends through confusing phone calls and long messages, about where you’re waiting for them.
Please note that Location Services must be enabled on your device in order for the methods below to work. Location Services are what allows your iPhone access or denial, when it comes to using the built-in GPS. If you want to check whether or not Location Services are enabled or disabled on your iPhone, skip to the bottom of this article.
Since 2011, Apple has released an application known as Find My Friends, where you can easily share your location indefinitely or for a certain amount of time. The application also allows users to request their friends to share their location.
The application is available on both iPhone and iPad. For those who possess more than one Apple device, you may select which device to use when sharing your location. It’s best to share your location on the device that you most often carry. If you have an iPad that you tend to leave at home, it may be confusing to your friends and family to constantly share its location, especially when you aren’t at home. Here’s a brief tutorial on how to share your location using Find My Friends,
1. Open the Find My Friends application. It has a yellow-orange background with a white icon of two people standing side by side.
2. Tap on Add in the upper right corner.
3. A field marked To will appear. Enter your desired contact’s name, email address, or phone number in order to share your location with them. You may add multiple entries. If you wish to add more than one contact, tap Return after each entry. Note: The application will also give you the option to share your location via AirDrop. AirDrop works only when two devices are in close proximity to one another. If your friend is nearby, you can AirDrop your location. AirDrop is also used to share pictures, videos, and more.
4. Tap Send. A window will appear on the bottom of the screen giving you the option to Share for One Hour, Share Until End of Day, or Share Indefinitely.
5. The contact or contacts you selected will now show in your Friends list and will have the label is a Follower. Note: You may request to see your friend’s location by tapping on their name, and then tapping Ask to Follow.
You also have the option to share your location via the Messages application, which is rather convenient if you’re already chating with the friend you want to send your location to. Follow the instructions below to share your location from Messages,
1. Open the Messages application on your iPhone or iPad. Open the conversation with the friend who you would like to share your location with.
2. Tap on your friend’s name on the top of the conversation. A small window will open up with three options: audio, FaceTime, and info. Tap on info.
3. Tap on Share My Location.
4. A small window will appear on the bottom of the screen with the options, Share for One Hour, Share Until End of Day, or Share Indefinitely. Note: If you choose the Share Indefinitely option you will be added to Find My Friends on your friend’s device.
You have now shared your location from the Messages application. Please note that if you turn off Share My Location in the Find My Friends application, then those following your location on Messages will also lose access to your location. This is because both Messages and Find My Friends are managed via iCloud.
As a shortcut, if your device possesses 3D Touch, you may hard press on the Find My Friends application without opening it, and you will be presented with the Share My Location option, as seen above. 3D Touch works by sensing how hard you tap on your device’s display, and then presents options accordingly. Your iPhone will only have 3D Touch if it’s a 6s or above model.
By using the steps above, you’ve shared your location with your friends, and family. Please note that in order for these options to work, you need to have enabled Location Services on your device. If you find that the methods above aren’t enabling you to share your location, it’s possible you may have unwittingly disabled Location Services. Location Services is what allows your iPhone and iPad to use the built-in GPS to track your location. If you’re afraid you may have disabled Location Services, follow the instructions below, to turn it back on.
1. Open the Settings application on your device. It has a grey background with an icon of a gear on it.
2. Tap on Privacy.
3. Tap on Location Services.
4. Ensure that the toggle button for Location Services is enabled. Tap on the button if it’s disabled, in order to enable it. The button should be green when enabled.
After you’ve enabled Location Services, try carrying out the methods above and see if you’re able to properly share your location. When Location Services are being used on your device, whether iPhone or iPad, you’ll notice a small triangular icon on the top of your screen in the status bar. This icon will either be colored in or hollowed out, and is a sign that currently your location is being used by your device.