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In this series on productivity, author Jess Stratton takes you through the latest tools that will help you run your business and life more efficiently. Each installment covers a particular feature or technique in a different online tool, such as Google Apps, Skype, YouTube, Mint.com, Etsy, and more. Check back every Monday for tips on topics from recording and publishing video chats to managing your finances online.
I'm Jess Stratton. And welcome to Monday Productivity Pointers. This week, I'm focusing on locational awareness on the iPhone. And in this video I'm focusing on the Find My Friends app. This app allows you to let your friends see your location. And will allow you to see their location. Or at least the location where their phone currently is. With an update, Apple added a feature called geofencing to the app. A geofence is a location based proximity threshold.
In other words, a virtual boundary. That is, if my phone and I are currently home, a contact that I've allowed to locate my by a Find My Friends can set my home as a geofence. This means that they've essentially built a fence around my location virtually, which is home. Should I leave home, I've gone through that virtual boundary, that geofence, an they can be notified. Now this is important to note that this is only for contacts that you've allowed to be able to see where you are.
So this is great for knowing when a child leaves a friend's house and, when a spouse leaves their office to plan meal times or an event for an entire family, so that you can know when to expect them all to arrive home. Or, when a friend arrives at a site, which is really useful when meeting up at a crowded place. You don't have to keep looking up to see if they arrived or keep texting them to ask if they're here yet. Now your phone can tell you when they've arrived. I'm in the find my friends app and I can see the contacts to which I've added. Now these people have given me permission to be able to locate them.
Remember that. So, I'm going to tap my contact that I want to build the geofence for. It's going to bring me into their location. And I'm interested in the Notify Me button in the top right. This is how you build the geofence. So I'll tap Notify Me. And you can be notified the next time that the contact either leaves a location or arrives at a location. You can tap done when you want to be notified that they're leaving their current location or when they arrive at a different location. You can also tap Change Location to change the boundaries of they fence.
For example you can click and drag and move it around. You can drop a pin where you want to be notified. Tap Done when you're done at the top or Cancel if you don't want to have a notification at all. When you're all set, you can click Cancel again or Done and tap Friends at the top left to get back to that main screen. The other party will certainly be aware of the geo their phone will get that location arrow icon at the top of their phone. It's the one that I have right next to the clock. This tells them, that their phone is using some sort of location service and they can see exactly which app is using it by going into Settings.
I'd also suggest using this sparingly and not on a day to day basis. As it does put a drain on their phone battery. Because it keeps having to test the boundaries of that fence so that it can notify you when they leave it. But other than that, it's a great way to stay on top of family members, children, friends and you can find all sorts of purposes for this. So that's the Find My Friends app.
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