iOS: Share Your Location with Maps

If you’re using Apple’s Find My Friends, you’re probably already familiar with how to share your location with other people through that app. You can even set it up to show where you are for just a few hours and to just a few people, for example, if that’s what you want. However, Find My Friends only works with others who have the same app configured with an iCloud account, so what if you need to share where you are (or any location, really) with someone on a Mac or a different type of mobile device? Let’s get our platform-agnostic locations going, people.

First of all, you’ll go to the Maps application on your iOS device, then decide—will you be sharing your current location with your pals, or do you want to drop a pin to lead them to a different place? To drop a pin, find the location on the map that you’d like to share, and then touch and hold on that place to drop a pin. After you do that, you can drag the pin around to refine its exact position, or tap the blue arrow to open the info screen to get started sharing.

Note that there’s a Share Location button at the bottom there. Surprise, surprise—that’s what you’ll use to send that location’s info in a message, an e-mail, or even a Tweet (if you’ve enabled that service in Settings > Twitter on your iOS 5 device).

If you choose to send this data through a message, this is what your recipient will see (on an iOS device, at least):

If he or she taps on that, the location data will be revealed in all its glory, and there’s even a link to open it into Maps. 

If you share through e-mail, your recipient will get both a link and a vCard to add your shared place to her contacts if she chooses.

This is from an e-mail. I create the most informative screenshots EVER.


To share your current location, the steps are very similar. Tap the blue pointer at the bottom-left of the Maps screen to center on where you are, and then touch the blue dot that represents you.

That’ll give you the little pop-up showing the address of your current location, and if you follow the steps above for touching the same blue arrow and choosing Share Location, you can show folks where you are so that they can meet you for cocktails. No Find My Friends needed, and most people should be able to open the links you send on their devices and computers. Pretty nifty for an invasion of your own privacy, huh? The future is both awesome and scary.