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HolidayBuyer's Guide
Phones

How to share your location in iOS 8

This handy feature instantly gives any iOS contact a working map of your whereabouts.

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Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

Thanks to Apple Maps , Google Maps and any number of other mapping apps, it's easy enough to pinpoint your location. But what if you want to share that info with someone else?

Suppose, for example, your car has broken down on the side of the road. Or your kid needs a ride home from somewhere and doesn't know the address. Maybe you got separated from your caravan during a road trip and need to regroup. Whatever the case, it sure would be nice if your iPhone offered a quick and easy location-sharing option.

With the arrival of iOS 8, it does. The feature isn't immediately obvious, but it's quite simple to use once you know where to look. Here's how to share your location with other iOS users:

Step 1: Open Messages and create a new message to the person you want to be able to find you. (Or just open an existing thread if you have one.)

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Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

Step 2: Tap the Details button in the upper-right corner.

ios-8-share-location.jpg
Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

Step 3: In the Location section, you'll see two options. Tap one of them.

Which one? Send My Current Location effectively takes a GPS snapshot of your whereabouts, then delivers it in map form to the recipient. That person can bring up that map, tap the little blue "i" for additional info and options, and even tap Directionst o Here for immediate routing.

Share My Location works a little differently. Instead of a onetime snapshot, this enables real-time location sharing for 1 hour, until the end of the day, or indefinitely. That's helpful if you know you're going to be moving around and still want a friend or family member to be able to keep tabs on you. Just keep in mind that it'll have an impact on your battery, as with any full-time GPS use.

If you want to end this location sharing early, tap Details again and then tap Stop Sharing My Location.

So to recap: Messages, new message, Details. That's all it takes to share your location via iMessage, either momentarily or for a stretch of time.