The integrated experiences in Windows Phone have always made it easy to share things with others using a variety of services. But in Windows Phone, the list of things you can share has grown yet again, and one of the new things you can share is your location.
On some rival smart phone platforms, you can discover, download, and install apps that share your location. But Windows Phone 8 simply builds this functionality in so it’s always available. And because it works through the Messaging app—and thus with pervasive services such as SMS text messaging, Messenger, and Facebook Chat—it’s broadly compatible, even with friends and family using other phone types.
That said, the best experience happens when both users—the person sharing their location and the recipient(s)—are using Windows Phone. In that case, a tappable map is sent and the recipient can use Maps to get directions to your location. Users of other phones are directed to a web page that shows your location on a map.
To share your location, start Messaging and begin composing a new text message. Tap the Attach button, and you’ll see the Attach something screen, which lets you choose various attachment types, including your location.
Select My location and your location will be added to the message, with the standard blue locator dot indicating your position in the middle of the map.
Add a recipient and text and required, and send. It works like any other message in Windows Phone.
Location sharing is perhaps best used within Windows Phone Groups and Rooms, two unique features of this platform that let you more easily share information with groups of people. I’ll be writing about both of these features—Groups has improved in Windows Phone 8, and Rooms is new to this release—soon.