Google Latitude’s alternative – “Find My Friend” App on iDevice

 

Google Latitude, Google’s long running location-service application will be retired on 9th August 2013. Although this feature will be available only on Android devices within the Google+ application, it will no longer be available for iOS devices. People using this app will have to move over to the various available tracking apps on iOS.

There are many paid and free apps for iOS that can be used for tracking, like iTrack Lite, Tracker Lite. Most of the good apps are paid and with their free version it allows to track only one or two friends. Among all, the popular one is the Find My Friends by Apple. Its free and was Apple’s answer to Google Latitude when launched in October 2011.

Like any other, Find My Friends is a tracking app which works on the iOS location and geofence service. The user interface is simple and far better then other tracking apps. The app works on simple procedure of invitation and acceptance, and not anyone can be tracked. The app supports features like temporary tracking, parental control, location based notification, hide from followers. It is secured as it requires your iTunes ID for access.

The app can be used for many different purpose. Track a friend whom you have invited home, call an tell him of he has opted the correct road to your house, track your family member if he/she have reached home safely, check if you kid have reached school/university, The app is really useful in knowing how long will it take for someone to reach to you. Kids going to secondary school or university may not like the app especially when their parents want to track their location. But on the other hand it will be fun to use it with friends on and off the campus. The app can really be a cause for any breakups.

Now lets get an hands on the app.

 

Invite friends

As is said earlier, the app allows you to see only those who have accepted your invitation. Here’s how you can invite friends.

1. After login, tap the ‘+’ button on the right top corner.

2. Enter the email or the phone number of the contact that you know off or select it from your contacts. Send the invite.

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You will be able to see your friends location  only after the invite have been accepted. Note, your friend won’t be able to track you. He will have to send an invite to you. Once you have built the list of your friends, whenever you launch the app it will pin-point the location of your friends.

 

Temporarily Track Friends

At times you want to know the location of a friend just once and you certainly don’t want him to follow you. To do this you can use the ‘Temporary’ feature of the app.

1. Tap on the ‘Temporary’  button at the bottom of the app, followed by a tap on the ‘Invite Friends’.

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2. Now after entering the contact details and the event name, tap ‘Ends’ button and select the time when you want the tracking to expire.

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The feature is helpful when you are going for a pickup at the airport/train station or arranging a get together with friend and want to know their location to guide him the correct path.

 

Geofence Friends

If you are in a middle of a conversation or arranging a party it becomes really tedious to continuously check your friends location. To avoid this situation you can set a notification to when the friend arrive at a location. To setup this type of notification, follow the below steps.

1. Tap on the friends name for whom you want to set location based notification.

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2. Tap on the information i   to see the below screen.

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3. Tap ‘Notify me’.

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4. Now select either Leaves or Arrives  and select the location on the map.

You will be notified when the friend leaves the location as shown below.

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Similarly, you can even notify your friend of your arrival or departure from the location. To do this follow the below steps.

1. Tap the ‘Me’ button on the bottom.IMG_2652

2. Tap ‘Notify’.

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3. Select ‘New Notification…’ and select your friend in the To: section.

4. Select ‘When I Leave…’ or ‘When I Arrive…’ and tap Done. Now, your friend will be notified about your arrival or departure at the selected location.

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5. You can even send an instant notification about your current location to your friend by selecting ‘Right Now’.

Hide from Followers

Sometimes, it will be rude if you track your friend and have kept yourself hidden. Whereas sometimes, hiding is useful when you don’t want yourself to be visible to your friends for a while or you are sharing the location with office staff and want to get invisible after office hours. Follow the below steps to turn on the invisible mode.

1. Tap the ‘Me’ button at the bottom.

2. Switch ON the ‘Hide from Followers’

 

Labeling the locations really helps and makes the access quicker. Labels can be like Home, Work, School, Park, Grocery, Gym, and many more.

The battery drains out faster if you keep the app running all day long. But personally, I don’t see it an issue. The drawback that I see is that this app works if you are connected to internet, that is either the phone is connected to WiFi or has a data plan. WiFi is available even in a coffee shop, but not everyone have a data plan. I feel the app will be more useful if works without the data plan.

 

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