Technology

Google Maps now shares your battery life with friends as well as your location

The app can display a wider spectrum of information when users opt in to location sharing.

Google Maps has introduced a new feature to its location-sharing tool to gives friends even more information about you – including your battery life.

The feature was spotted by Reddit users and appears to be present in the iOS and Android versions of the app. It shows a friend’s battery life alongside their position on the map, when they were last online and how far away they are from you.

The location-sharing feature is entirely opt-in, with no data shared with friends until users go through several steps to set up the process.

The feature has existed in different guises for some time in Google Maps, predominately as a way for friends to quickly find each other and plan more accurate directions to one another.

(Screenshot)
(Screenshot)

The new battery feature is probably meant as a tool to help users identify if friends are safe and well, as well as a way of knowing how much life might be left in a lost phone, although Google has not commented directly on the feature.

It does mean anyone who shares their location and puts off replying to a message or missing a call may no longer be able to rely on the excuse of running out of battery.

The feature has been in the works for some time – news site Android Police noted it back in February when doing a deeper analysis of Google Maps software, although it appears to have only become widely publicly available recently.

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