Sharing your location with friends and family can be a really useful way of knowing your loved ones’ whereabouts. It means you don’t have to be constantly sending out “Where are you?” texts when arranging to meet up. Two of the main players in the market are Life360 and Find My Friends.
Life360 was released first, on Android in 2008, and iOS in 2010. Apple decided to get in on the action when releasing Find My Friends in 2011. Considering how similar they are in terms of stated function and location sharing, what’s the actual difference between the two?
As mentioned above, Life360 is available on both Android and iOS, while Find My Friends is only available on the latter platform. Therefore, if you’re wanting to share your location with people who don’t have an iPhone or iPad, then you’re out of luck where Find My Friends is concerned.
Find My Friends allows you to connect with any of the contacts you have stored on your phone, if both you and your contact have agreed to https://www.novodasoftware.com/share locations. But you can toggle this off at any time if you don’t want someone to know where you are.
Life360 is more angled towards families, and styles itself as a private social network for your family members. This network is called a Circle, and once every member has the app on their phone and is logged in, it will track their location over the course of a day. If at any time a member’s phone is switched off, or loses its data connection, this will be reflected on the map of their activity, which is available for all of the other members of the Circle to see.
Both apps can set up location alerts to inform you when your friend or family member arrives or leaves a specific location. However, Life360 only allows you to set two locations on the free version of the app.
Price and Features
Both apps are available for free in their respective stores, but Life360 also has two levels of paid premium service. The free version allows you to share your location, will report when a member’s phone has low battery, can give a member’s ETA at a specified location, can send help alerts, allows you to set two locations for Place Alerts, and will store two days’ worth of history.
The cheapest paid version of Life360, the Plus service, is $2.99 per month, and allows for unlimited Place Alerts, and will show thirty days’ worth of history, as well as letting you know about any reported crimes on the map.
The more expensive Driver Protect package costs $7.99 per month, and has a number of features that are ideal for families with a new driver. It provides everything already mentioned, as well as crash detection, emergency response, roadside assistance, and a daily driver report that tracks the number of journeys made, the average speed, and any unsafe driving habits.
Find My Friends, while free for all users, doesn’t provide any of the driving related features. Nor and does it provide a history of you and your contacts’ location updates. It also doesn’t report on battery status, or provide ETAs, and you can’t use the app to send messages or help alerts when you’re in trouble.
Because of Android’s more accurate and battery intensive GPS capabilities, and the regularity of its location updates on both platforms, Life360 will drain your battery a bit quicker than Find My Friends. This is most noticeable when you’re driving, so it might be a good idea to plug your phone into your car if you use the Driver Protect package.
In a Nutshell
Essentially, Find My Friends pretty much just does what it says – it helps you to know where your contacts are, and that’s pretty much it.
Life360, on the other hand, is a more comprehensive service that has a lot more options available for both keeping track of your family and friends’ locations. It also has a range of safety-related features to help provide peace of mind for parents who want to keep tabs on their loved ones, especially in dangerous situations.
Finally, Life360 takes up a fair bit more space on your phone than Find My Friends, though it’s still not particularly big. On Android, Life360 takes up 34Mb, on iOS, 176Mb. Find My Friends meanwhile is a relatively tiny 1.2Mb.
Variety Is the Spice of Life
Find My Friends is fine if you don’t need loads of extras, and just want to do exactly that. Life360 will probably be more of interest to protective parents. But it can also be used in work situations, and even help to keep track of at-risk adults. If you’ve found any other significant differences between the apps that we’ve missed, let us know in the comments section below.
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