Soon tracking someone’s location in real-time using Google Maps could include knowing if their phone is about to die.
If you rely on Google Maps to help you get where you want to go or to meet with someone at a specific location, it includes a very useful additional feature. It’s called real-time location sharing, and it allows you to share your location with others for a specific period of time. Now it looks as though the information shared is increasing to include battery status.
When a location is shared with you, the other person’s location can be seen on the map. The other person can also set an estimated time of arrival. Android Police carried out a teardown of the latest Google Maps v9.71 beta to see what they could find, and one hidden feature for now is battery level and charging status.
If enabled, it would communicate the level of battery and the charging status of the person’s phone you are following in Google Maps. The information would be presented as, “Matthew’s battery level is between 50% and 75% and is charging.” So it would also communicate when it isn’t charging and when the battery is very low.
Such a feature is very useful if the person you are meeting forgot to charge their phone and therefore doesn’t have very much battery life left. Their phone could die before you meet, but if you were tracking their location and knew about the battery status then you wouldn’t be as concerned if they disappear off the map because you know the likely reason why.
For now, the battery stats feature is not enabled in Google Maps, but the fact the functionality is there and it sounds like a really good idea, means I expect it to be enabled sooner rather than later.