Google Maps Now Shows Your Battery Level When Location Sharing

Google Maps users who share their location with friends or loved ones will now automatically display their device's battery level. The update, reportedly in testing for weeks, is turned on by default—but there doesn't yet appear to be an option to toggle it off. Of course, sharing your location with a friend remains voluntary in the Android application.

It remains unclear if the feature is rolling out worldwide, but Newsweek confirmed on Friday the battery-watching capability was both real-time and precise. "This will solve some of my anxieties," one test subject commented, jokingly adding: "A heart beat would be better though."

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The feature was first noticed by Android Police during research into Google Maps' 9.71 software beta. According to the Android Police, analysis confirmed the battery displays had become increasingly accurate in recent weeks.

At least one Reddit user also noted the inclusion of a battery monitor when location sharing with contacts, explaining how it was spotted while checking on their wife's commute. "I just noticed today it shows me her battery percentage is at 80 percent," the post read.

The fresh update is reminiscent of the now-defunct service Google Latitude, first introduced in 2009, which let Google Maps users track their friends' smartphone locations.

It also gave people the ability to call or text each other from inside the app. That feature was retried in August 2013 but reintroduced into Google Maps last year. As noted by Mashable this week, battery updates could even prove useful for people who have lost their devices.

One Twitter user said it helped confirm a misplaced phone was out of power.

To share your location on an Android phone or tablet, open the app and tap the menu button. Go to Location Sharing>Add People>Choose how long they should have access>Tap Share.

Google Maps Now Shows Your Battery Level When Location Sharing | Tech & Science