Google+ has been updated with a new “friend-tracking” app that gives you the possibility to navigate to the exact location of a friend. Google Maps has always been useful when, for instance, you had to find a certain place in a crowded city, allowing you to get from point A to point B without any problem. With this new update to Google+ you receive directions on how get to a friend’s location, even if the destination changes due to certain “inconveniences”. Google+ will have the exact location of your friend even if he doesn’t send you the location data. Sharing his location data is enough for Google+ to let you know at what time and where your friend was and where he is in that exact moment.
This new Google+ app is rather similar to Facebook’s “Nearby Friends” app, which announces you whether there are any friends in your vicinity, how far are they and how much time you have left until you meet. Unfortunately Facebook’s app can be quite annoying, because it announces you each and every time someone from your list of friends is nearby (if they’re also using the app). Of course, you can turn it off, but the app is designed to send you ads that you might want to share with, guess who, a friend that’s in your vicinity.
The Google+ app is not that pushy, so you can use it only when you need directions to locate a friend. It’s also pretty easy to use, but keep in mind that you need the most recent version of Google+, namely the 4.4, to use it. If your device doesn’t come with the latest version of Google+ you’ll need to wait for it to roll out to your device. Until then, let’s see what you have do next time you have to meet with a friend.
The first thing you have to do is to press on the top bar of Google+ where you choose which circles you want to see. Then tap the “Location” icon at the bottom of the screen. The second step is to zoom out the map to find your friend’s photo on it, then tap on it and you’ll see the info about their location loading across the bottom of the screen. The final step is to slide to the right or to the left to reveal the “Directions” and “Hangouts” icons. Once you press on “Directions”, Google Maps will give all the navigation details you need in order to get to your friend’s current location.
Some might say this update to Google+ came a little too late. There are a lot of similar apps already on the market, including Google Maps. Whether this new app will be as used as it’s older sibling is to early to known, but the chances of that happening are small. Not only because the app is still new and unknown, but also because in order to use it you need the latest version of Google+ on your device, so it will take some time before the app can be used by everyone.