Keeping track of one’s friends and family has never been easier than in today's digital age. From reuniting with long-lost pals on Facebook
to following their pictorial journeys on Instagram
, there's always a way. But what about tracking the whereabouts of those who matter most in real-time? Luckily, a slew of new apps are available for just that—no high-level detective work required.
Running late for a meeting, while often unavoidable, can engender begrudging stares upon arrival. New iOS app Twist
prevents excuses from falling on deaf ears by updating friends, family, or colleagues on estimated arrival times to specified locations. Not unlike similar concept apps before it
, users can set their current location and final destination on a map while inviting others to track their progress between points. The app sends text alerts, push notifications, and emails along the way as needed, so recipients can stay informed even after they've closed the app and senders can keep their hands behind the wheel while driving
Find My Friends:
For anyone who’s ever lost an iPhone, Find My iPhone
has been a savior. Now, with the Find My Friends app
, wandering friends can be tracked as easily as wayward devices. Coinciding with the release of the new Maps
for iOS6 this fall, the newest version of this app will be equipped with a geofencing
feature that notifies recipients when its user moves to or from a designated area. While such a capability seems ideal for tight groups of friends who long to know each other’s locations constantly (see: college students), we suspect that parents who are suspicious of their teens’ whereabouts will be trying this one too.
Social discovery app Highlight
made a splash when it was unveiled at this year’s SXSWi
. Fueled by Facebook data, Highlight alerts users when they’re in the proximity of people they know, people with whom they share mutual friends, and even people with whom they merely share interests. The app's recent makeover
allows for leaving recommendations and notes for friends, receiving personalized notifications with an improved matchmaking algorithm, and sending group messages to others nearby—a valuable feature for those moments when one needs to find, say, contact lens solution or an iPhone charger.