– Ben Martens

windows phone

Location Sharing With Windows Phone

squadwatch-iconTyla and I are regularly texting each other saying that we are leaving various places, headed home, etc. There aren’t many people that I’d share my location with, but letting Tyla know where I am would be pretty useful (and vice versa.)

Microsoft recently launched an app called SquadWatch which purports to do just that. It was built as a fun project by some employees and it feels like it has some growing pains. The first day I wasn’t able to get our phones linked together and since then it has taken quite a while to acquire the location of the other phone. If they get their act together, this could be a good app.

While I was reading about SquadWatch, I learned that there’s another location sharing app called Glympse. Right now it has significantly better reviews that SquadWatch so I’ll be checking that one out as well.

This seems like a super valuable tool for families, but I can see how it could feel like Big Brother watching over you. Will my son be ok with something like this when he’s older? That opens up a whole other set of questions that I’m not ready to answer yet. Parenting is hard.

UPDATE: There appears to be one major difference between the two apps. Glympse lets you share your location with someone for a specific period of time (similar to Waze), but SquadWatch appears to actually contact the other phones to determine their current location. That’s much more useful for my purposes. Once you have set up the “squad”, you can always know where the other people are. There are still some performance and reliability issues with the app but I’m going to keep it on my phone.