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Google Maps location sharing adds arrival notifications

Google is rolling out a handful of new Maps features for the summer, but the highlight is a significant update to location sharing that lets you receive arrival and departure notifications.

Google Maps is adding location-sharing notifications that can alert you when somebody has arrived or left a place. Once this feature is live, open their page in the app to start the set-up process. The alerts are for “every time” a person arrives/leaves, so it’s continuous.

Say you’re headed to a concert with a group of friends. If they’ve already chosen to share their location with you, you can set a notification for the concert venue’s address so you can see when they’ve arrived and meet up quickly. You could also set a notification to see when they’ve left the venue — just in case you get split up.

It’s meant to let people “more easily coordinate schedules and have peace of mind,” with the latter being especially ideal for making sure somebody gets to a place.

One of the ways I plan to use this feature this summer is when I set out on my solo hiking trip. By asking my sister to set a notification for me so she can see when I’ve returned to the trailhead parking lot gives me peace of mind that someone will know that I made it back safely.

On the privacy front, Google said “notifications can only be set for someone who has already chosen to share their location with you.” Those that share their location will receive multiple reminders that it’s active and that somebody has an arrival/departure notification set:

The person who’s shared their location with you will receive multiple reminders to let them know — including both a push notification in the Maps app and an email, along with recurring monthly emails.

Besides stopping location sharing, you can “block someone from setting notifications altogether.” Google Maps is globally rolling out location-sharing notifications now for Android and iOS.

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