Cool Way to Use the Built in iPhone Locator Feature
Most of you iPhone users probably already know that there is a cool feature that lets you quickly locate your lost or stolen iPhone using the Find My iPhone tool. What you might not realize is that Apple has also included a very cool feature that will allow users to instantly share their location with friends, family members, or business associates using a simple text message.
Not everyone knows how to use cell phone locator applications but pretty much everyone can figure out how to send a text message these days. If you can manage to send a text message, you can share your location using an iPhone. It really is that simple.
How to Share Your Location using Apple’s iPhone Locator Feature
You’re going to be blown away when I show you how quick and easy it is to send your location on an iPhone.
Just follow these simple steps:
- Start a text message and address it to the person you want to share your location with.
- Tap on the little icon in the upper right hand corner of your screen that looks like the letter “i” with a circle around it.
- Tap on the “Send My Current Location” option.
- Since this is likely the first time you have used this feature, a popup box that will be asking for your permission to allow the Messages app to access your location while you are using the app will appear. Just tap the “Allow” option to continue. After you do this a screenshot of a map showing your location will instantly be sent to your intended recipient in a text message.
How the Recipient Can Use Your Shared iPhone Location
When the person you shared your location with receives the text message, all they have to do is tap on the image of the map that shows your location.
This will enlarge the map so they can see exactly where you were when you shared your location with them. They can even get directions to your location by simply tapping on the “Directions to Here” option at the bottom of the screen.
They can also see how far you are from them and how long it will take them to arrive at your destination.
Another Cool Way to Use this iPhone Locator Feature
The good folks at Apple were really thinking when they designed their iPhone location sharing functionality.
Not only can you send a text message showing a one-time snapshot of your current location, you can use the “Share My Location” feature.
When you tap on this option, you are presented with three additional options. They are:
- Share for One Hour
- Share Until End of Day
- Share Indefinitely
This is a feature that is similar to the way the Glympse cell phone tracker application allows users to share their location with someone for a limited time. The difference is that you don’t have to install a tracking app on your iPhone to use this feature.
If you chose to “share” your location for a predetermined length of time with someone instead of “sending” a one-time snapshot of your location, the recipient will see a small screenshot of a map in the text they receive that says that you have chosen to share you location with them.
Here’s how this option works. If you chose to share you location for an hour, the person that you gave this permission to can simply tap on the snapshot in their text message and their phone will display your current location.
This is different from the first option I wrote about that allows you to send the location of your phone in a text message. That option will only tell the recipient where you happened to be at the moment you sent the text. If you happen to be moving, your location will change as you continue traveling so this option is really only useful if you are somewhere and you won’t be moving for a while.
If you’re going to be moving and you want the recipient to be able to continue to track your location, you’ll probably want to use the “Share My Location” method instead of the “Send My Current Location” method.
One Tiny Little Hiccup
I thought I would point this out just in case you experience a similar issue. I have noticed that for some reason, if I don’t have a text message thread from a particular contact saved on my phone, the little “i” with a circle around it doesn’t show up on my iPhone 6 for some strange reason.
The workaround for me is to send a short text message to my intended recipient just before I try to send or share my location. I usually just send a text that says something like, “I’m sending you my current location in a text.” After I do that, the circle “i” icon appears and I suddenly have the option of sending or sharing the location from my iPhone.
Give It a Try
If you do happen to own an iPhone, take a minute and give this cool feature a try. I have a feeling that once you try it, you’ll use it all the time!