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  • According to this, he should be right here.

  • So what's happening here?

  • Well, that's me.

  • And that's my friend Aldo.

  • No, really, his real name is Aldo.

  • I checked his Costco card and everything.

  • I don't know who you're thinking of, but this Aldo is an actor who sometimes likes to hide around town and help me test location sharing apps.

  • Yeah, it's great.

  • My whole life people have been adding a W to the beginning my name.

  • Like it's so funny.

  • Anyway, Apple's Find My Friends location sharing and Google Maps and an app called, Life360, have become very popular amongst groups of friends and families.

  • They all work similarly.

  • You share your real time location with a person, and maybe they share it with you, and then you can see each other on a map, right down to the specific address.

  • Yes, it can be very, very precise.

  • Creepy?

  • Absolutely.

  • But there are some good reasons to use these.

  • And if you're convinced, which one's best?

  • That's why Aldo's here.

  • Wait, where's Aldo?

  • Aldo has an iPhone on him with those three location sharing apps.

  • I requested his location through each of the apps, and he accepted.

  • He also has the ability to turn off location sharing with me at any time.

  • But before we get into which one works best, let's consider why you may want to track someone like Aldo or why you may consider someone tracking you.

  • I have two reasons.

  • Number one: meeting up.

  • Whether you're meeting a friend in a park or at a restaurant, you can see your whereabouts instead of texting back and forth.

  • Google and Apple let you limit the sharing of your location to different periods of time, say an hour or two.

  • Or you can choose to share indefinitely.

  • Number two: safety.

  • People use these services to make sure friends have gotten home okay in a cab or Uber.

  • Parents use this with kids of all ages.

  • Focused on families, the Life360 app has features for tracking new drivers.

  • Of course, there are plenty of reasons not to track.

  • Notably, you give up your own privacy.

  • And also, you can get anxious when the tech doesn't work right.

  • Also, stalking, yes, the list goes on.

  • If you decide to share your location, make sure it's with someone you know and trust.

  • Okay, so which one is the best?

  • Test one: standing still outside.

  • Let's see which of these let's me find Aldo outside the easiest.

  • So all three of them seem to have him in the same place.

  • Guess if I bear to the left here, sort of by the water.

  • Winner of test one...

  • Found you.

  • Never.

  • Apple and Life360.

  • They plotted him faster and more precisely.

  • Test two: on the go.

  • But what happens when Aldo is in a car or a horse.

  • Each of the apps update location at different intervals.

  • If you have Apple's app open it will refresh every minute.

  • When Life360 is open, it refreshes every three seconds.

  • Making it way easier to keep tabs on a moving vehicle or animal.

  • Yep, he's coming in across Central Park South right now.

  • Winner of this round...

  • Found ya.

  • Life360.

  • Life360 and Google also show you the remaining battery percentage of the person you're tracking.

  • Sadly, Apple doesn't.

  • Test three: inside a building.

  • Yep, Aldo decided to go to work today.

  • The GPS can get close and give you an idea of what indoor location someone is in.

  • But often it puts them right outside it on a map.

  • According to all three apps, he should be standing right here in the middle of 47th Street.

  • Winner, none of them.

  • They all plotted Aldo in the middle of the street.

  • Your decision should really come down to privacy policies and what phone you have.

  • Apple's policies are the best.

  • It retains your location data for just two hours.

  • Google, not so much.

  • It requires that you enable a setting that let's Google keep a record of every place you've been.

  • It can use this data to show you more targeted ads.

  • Google does offer a tool to auto delete this data.

  • Life360's policy says your data could be used for advertising, and there's no way to currently delete your location data from it's servers.

  • If you've got friends and family with iPhones and Android phones go with Life360.

  • I found it to be better and faster than Google Maps.

  • If you've got an iPhone and friends and family with iPhones, go with Apple's Find My Friends.

  • Or what's going to be called, Find My in IOS 13.

  • I've decided to use Find My Friends with some of the closest people in my life.

  • Which basically now makes me Aldo.

According to this, he should be right here.

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Google Maps, Find My Friends and Life360: Which Tracking App Works Best? | WSJ

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    Mackenzie posted on 2019/11/06
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