During a recent visit to a friend's house in backwoods Kentucky, I got lost while jogging on deserted country roads. I had my iPhone, luckily, but no good way to tell my buddy where I was so he could talk me back.
What I needed was Glympse, a fantastic new app that shares your location via e-mail, text message, and/or Twitter--and does so for a set amount of time.
Tapping Google Maps, Glympse quickly zeroes in on your current location, then gives you the option of sending it to one or more e-mail addresses and/or phone numbers. If you elect to link your Twitter account, you can just type in "Twitter" in the To field.
From there you choose a duration: anywhere from 0 minutes (meaning Glympse sends your current location and that's it) to four hours. For anything higher than zero, the recipient can track your movement in real-time, in Google Maps, for the designated period.
Recipients don't need to sign up for anything or install any software; they just click a link.
Glympse also gives you the option of including a brief message or choosing from a couple dozen canned messages ("Almost there," "I'm stuck, can you help?", and so on).
How perfect would that be if you needed to tell, say, a tow-truck driver where to find your car? Or you wanted to let a business associate know you were stuck in traffic?
The app even lets you include a destination so the recipient knows where you're headed. This can be a contact's address, a spot on a map, or a looked-up location (like a restaurant).
You can save these destinations for future use, and there's a Favorites section for easily retrieving "Glympses" you send on a regular basis (like to home or the office).
In short, this is one of those apps that's ingenious in its simplicity, insanely handy to have around, and just a little bit fun to boot. My sole complaint is that if you exit the app or your iPhone shuts off before the Glympse expires, it stops broadcasting your location.
But don't let that stop you from grabbing this brilliant app. Amazingly, it's free.