Read on to learn about location sharing apps—and how to choose the right one.
What is location sharing?
In general, location sharing refers to the act of sharing where you are.
More recently, this term has started to refer to location sharing apps in particular. These apps let you and your family members find one another on real-time maps. They use the internet to pinpoint your locations.
What features do location sharing apps have?
There are many location sharing apps on the market. They often offer similar features that provide varying degrees of privacy for different situations and relationships.
Features might include:
- Automatic sharing. This feature allows you to track someone’s location at all times. Locations update in real-time, so you can follow their progress. Automatic sharing can help you ensure your kid is safely on the way to school. It can also allow you to conduct spot checks on an unruly teenager.
- Sharing requests. With this feature, you can send a request when you want to see someone’s location. They can choose whether or not to share a map that pinpoints where they are. This tool is useful if you’re going to offer your kid or spouse some privacy.
- ETA sharing. Some apps allow you to share your location when you want to. For example, you might ask your kids when they will be home. In response, they can send you an ETA with a map attached. Then, you can follow their progress back.
- Location notifications. Tracking your kid’s or spouse’s route is time-consuming. Location notifications make it easy. This feature lets you know once your loved one has arrived at a specific location. For example, you can set up an alert to let you know when your kid has arrived at school.
- Emergency alerts. Emergency alerts are critical. These tools empower your loved one to press a single button in dangerous situations. Then, you will receive a signal and a map of your loved one’s location. If your kid feels like he or she is in danger, this tool lets you know quickly.
What are some benefits of location sharing for families?
Location sharing for families has many benefits. Because the apps are so versatile, you can find a tool with the exact features you need. They are also easy to install since 90 percent of smartphone owners already enable location services.
Location sharing can help you:
- Respect personal space. Your kids don’t want you to text and call them all day. But if you don’t know where they are, you’ll worry. Location sharing apps allow you to keep track of loved ones without bugging them.
- Save time. Texting your kids to ask where they are repeatedly can take a lot of time. Location sharing makes it easy to check your app or send a quick location sharing request.
- Defer to family privacy. You might choose an app that offers features like sharing requests and ETA sharing. These tools help you respect your family’s privacy while staying up-to-date. They are also more fitting for spouses, who may expect more privacy.
- Respond to emergencies quickly. Emergency alerts allow your kids to tell you right away when something’s wrong. That way, you can respond as fast as you can. This tool can be a lifesaver.
How do I choose a location sharing app for my family?
When you want a location sharing app, there are a few key features to look for.
You’ll want to consider:
- Tools that your family needs. These apps come with a lot of features. Choose one that has precisely what you’re looking for. There will be one that offers the flexibility you need.
- Data privacy. Your app must explicitly say that it will not sell your data. Some insurance companies and other businesses can use location data to raise premiums.
- Security. No one outside of your family should be able to see your family’s locations. Choose a platform with secure login procedures and network-wide security.
- Ease of use. Tracking your family’s location shouldn’t be rocket science. Choose an app that is intuitive from the get-go.
Choose the right one for your family
You’ll find plenty of location sharing apps on the market. Choosing the right one comes down to your family relationships and needs. With the right choice, you can keep your family connected—and safe.
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