Google Maps is one of those conveniences of modern life that many can’t imagine life without. But more than just helping us not get lost, Maps also has one other somewhat controversial feature: location sharing. Now more than just knowing where your friends and family are, you will also be able to see how much battery they have left. You know, in case you need to swoop in to their rescue with a power bank.
Location sharing isn’t a spying feature, of course. You have to explicitly and intentionally share your location with a friend for it to work, though there were unverified reports if unintended activations. It’s meant to make it easier to meet up, guide people towards certain locations, and make sure loved ones are safe.
Knowing their battery level may or may not be critical to that knowledge. On the one hand, it helps you prepare for an emergency in case your friend is in the red. On the other hand, it also means you or your friend can no longer lie about their battery dying on them.
Google Maps also added a new feature that might be even more controversial, depending on what you believe in. On desktop browsers, Maps will now display a sphere when you zoom out far enough. Again, unless you believe the earth is flat, this small change means that representation will be more accurate because you can’t really lay out a sphere on a flat surface without some distortion.