iOS 6 has been released, and you can count Apple among the numerous developers who are updating their apps to take advantage of the new OS. Apple has updated Find my Friends with UI improvements to make the app more usable, and they’ve also added a feature to notify you when your friends come and go — no matter where they’re at!
The Find Friends app and service was first launched with iOS 5 in October of 2011. Essentially acting as Apple’s version of Google Latitude, Find Friends allows iOS device users to look up and track the geographic locations of other iOS-device-using people. This comes in handy when you’re planning a get-together with family or friends, or you simply like to know where someone is during the day (such as your school-aged child). Both sides of the “friendship” need to be confirmed before Apple allows you to follow another user, and there are some privacy controls that allow you to temporarily block access to your location.
The most noticeable change to the app is the interface. Apple has revised the app to show your friends list over the bottom of a map view. Tap on a specific friend in the list, and the map will zoom into that person’s location. tap to go back out, the friends list slides up from the bottom again.
One nice feature is an added button to send your friends a text message without first switching apps. When you decide to send a text message, the app does pop you over to the Messages app so you can complete your text.
One of the most significant features is the ability to set notifications for when your friends arrive or leave a certain location. Tap a friend’s location, then tap the “Notify Me” button, then you can decide if you want to be notified if the person is either coming or going, and what address to associate the notification with. (This is a great feature for parents with iPhone carrying kids.)
Of course this feature can also be sued to pseudo-stalk your friends or spouse, but hey, they opted in, right? This feature does require all parties involved to be using iOS 6 on their devices.
This is a great update, and only adds to the useability of this app.
Find my Friends is available in the App Store – FREE (Direct Link).
Make sure to check out our full iOS 6 coverage for all the details about Apple’s latest mobile platform!