Apple pushed out their latest iOS to iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches today bringing new mapping software, Facebook integration, shared photo streams and more. Along with iOS 6, Apple released updates to nearly all of its apps including a slightly disturbing feature to Find My Friends, an app designed to —well, locate your friends.
Upon opening the Find My Friends app and a selecting a friend to locate, you’ll be prompted with a few options:
- Send Message (send an Text or iMessage to friend)
- FaceTime (start a FaceTime conversation)
- Directions (show directions on map from your current location to theirs)
- Choose Label (assign a name for their current location)
- Notify Me (receive an alert when friend leaves current location)
The new addition to Find My Friends is the last item on this list: Notify Me. Selecting this customizable option will send you an alert in the form of a push notification when your friend leaves or arrives a designated address.
I don’t want to be tracked with Find My Friends
You can rest easy; the feature won’t work right off the bat. If you don’t want to track or be tracked, don’t install Find My Friends —it’s not a standard app that’s included in iOS 6.
For the feature to work, a request will need to be sent (and approved) by a second iPhone user on iOS 6 running the latest version of Find My Friends. Once approved, you can always remove followers manually, hide your location at any time or share your location with someone temporarily.
I can see how this new feature can be beneficial with parents. It would be convenient to know where your kids are or when they are leaving school or a friend’s house. You could even ask Siri to locate them without having to launch the app. Just ask: “Where is Junior?”
Parents: If you’re using this feature on your child’s phone, remember to prevent changes to the Find My Friends App by navigating to Settings > General > Restrictions > Find My Friends > Don’t Allow Changes.
But how would this work in non-family settings? I sent requests out to several friends so I could track them with the Find My Friends app. So far, out of ten of them, one approved the request. I guess I sent out a stalker vibe.
What about sharing your location with your significant other? A user on Reddit stated: “A lot of people think this is creepy, and it can be, but I’ll use it so my SO knows when I’m heading home from work. Easier than calling or texting.”
I’d love to hear if you’ll be using the new feature; share your thoughts in the comments below. And remember, don’t share your location with those you don’t want knowing your location.