New app 'Jink' marries privacy and location sharing beautifully

Location sharing is fairly ubiquitous, but often a macro view that shows a group of people where you are. With Jink, you can share your location with whom you like, when you like. That location sharing goes away when you actually meet, too, so you're never giving away your information unwittingly.

Jink's goal is the same as most other location sharing apps; they want you to actually meet up with someone. The difference with Jink is that it's incredibly simple to use for anyone, and doesn't ask that you share your location all the time. Some apps create a method for making your location private, but Jink approaches meeting up the opposite way. You won't actually be using Jink with someone without an invitation.

The invitation method is unique in that it takes two (or more) to share their location via telephone number only. If you end up inviting someone that doesn't have Jink, the app sends a link to download via SMS. When you start actually "Jinking" with someone, you can chat with them in real-time, and see their location on a map in real-time. Once you're in proximity, the Jink session ends, because the app knows you're now face-to-face. Jink has done its job.

The great thing about Jink is the focus on privacy. When you meet up with someone — or a group, Jink can be used by more than one person at a time per session — the location sharing ends. If you end up not getting together, Jink has a set expiration timeframe to turn of location sharing.

It's a great way to interact with people you're going to meet up with, and Jink is simple enough for anyone to use. It's easy to envision this being handy for a first date (even when it goes belly-up on you), as you can interact up to the time you meet, and disappear into privacy after the date (a dictionary definition of Jink is to "change direction suddenly and nimbly, as when dodging a pursuer", ironically).

Leaning on the privacy angle, Jink uses nothing more than your phone number, and never asks for additional info. That's handy for a quick request (you can send it to anyone in your contacts list, or just enter a number manually), and the app is great for business contacts as well as personal. Jink is currently available on iOS or Android, free in both the App Store and on Google Play.