New Delhi, March 21: In order to boost engagement on a product of increasing strategic importance to the search giant, Alphabet Inc’s Google on Wednesday announced that they will be updating their popular Map app which will now allow users to share their locations. The app is going to be updated by next week where users worldwide will be able to share where they are in real time on devices running both Google’s Android operating system and Apple Inc’s iOS software.The feature is part of an array of new tools aimed at boosting the effectiveness of Google Maps, which analysts say is critical to the company’s ambitions in commerce and transport.
As the world is getting digitized, the map can help to find each other in crowded places like market, concerts, etc. by sharing their current location. Google executive Jen Fitzpatrick, who leads Google maps, said that the users will retain control over who they share their whereabouts with and for how long. “That coordination in that sort of last-mile moment winds up being sometimes more complicated than you might think,” she added.
Ben Greenwood, a product manager for Google Maps said that location-sharing features have sparked alarm among privacy advocates in the past. To address those concerns, Google will remind users both in the app and via email of whom they are sharing their location with. While the recipient of a user’s location could pass that link onto a third party, Google will advise people to use the feature only with those they trust.
Fitzpatrick while talking about location sharing said that the concept is not new but they want to make it simple, accessible and giving users a lot of control and privacy. She added that they will be a roll out in coming weeks where user can find parking and where their cars are parked.
Fitzparick said that Ride-hailing services have also become an important aspect of the app, and Google Maps will have partnerships with 14 companies in 70 countries by the end of the week.
Analyst Bob O’Donnell of TECHnalysis said that the research Mapping has become a key contributor to Google’s advertising juggernaut. “It’s an absolutely essential service for them to drive more growth in all of their key revenue-generating businesses,” he added.