I know there's a share location feature in Google Maps and various android apps for sharing locations.

But is there a widget / shortcut or something where you can click on it and instantly share your location with a pre-defined contact whether by SMS, email, etc. ?

I have a relative that I need to pick up quite frequently but sometimes they're in one street and sometimes they're walking in another. They're a little older and aren't too tech savvy except for the basics (viewing photos, chatting, etc.).

Basically I want to set up a widget / shortcut on their homescreen and if I can't find them, I can call them and tell them to click on the button to share me your location so I can find them.

Google Messenger has a share location by SMS feature too but that's too many clicks, want to simplify as much as possible.

Other apps like Life 360 or Family Locator are on 24/7 and kill the battery. Don't need 24/7 location sharing.

  • 1
    Instead of your relative broadcasting their location, if you install device lost tracking app on their phone, you can track them more easily (all they need to do is keep GPS on). Find my device is one such basic app. Then there are apps that are anti theft that can be considered. Basic thing is to change action at your end to track them instead of they initiating. Consider this approach
    – beeshyams
    Dec 20, 2017 at 2:23
  • 1
    For the above approach to work you would need to add that device to your account (I did that to track family member by logging into their account and associate my number with it and then they changed their password AFAIR). Else , there are location sharing apps for them to share but not one click
    – beeshyams
    Dec 20, 2017 at 6:22

3 Answers 3


Trusted Contacts screenshots

Trusted Contacts is the solution you're looking for - it's an application made by Google, which allows you to share your location with friends and family and integrates with Google Maps' location sharing solution too.

Simply install the application on the family member's phone and make sure you are selected as one of their Trusted Contacts.

Whenever you want to know their location, simply tap on their avatar and select "request location". A screen will show up on their phone with the default ringtone playing as well. (see screenshots above)

If they don't "pick up" and allow you to see their location, their location will be shared automatically in 5 minutes.

Best of all - it's free, it's made by Google and has integration into Google Maps' location sharing service.

  • How have I not heard of this before. Perfect.
    – Jack
    Dec 26, 2017 at 5:25
  • Looks like the app has been taken away from Play Store.
    – Andrew T.
    Apr 18, 2021 at 17:15

Basically I want to set up a widget / shortcut on their home screen ....

There are a number of social media apps that can do this but they are not one click as you mentioned besides setting up a widget is not possible

Hence, suggesting as an alternative

I prefer Macrodroid, being easy to learn and free (upto 5 macros). You would need to install Macrodroid ontheir device

Create a macro

Trigger: Empty Trigger

Actions: Share location

You get the following options - SMS, Twitter , Email , Calendar, Variable

  1. Select SMS and either select contact or number (yours)

  2. Repeat the action above and enter your email after choosing the default e-mail account registered with their device

Constraints​ : Leave blank

Name the macro and save it

Go to widgets of your home screen and drag and drop Macrodroid widget on any screen. Long press the widget and assign the name of macro (Tip: Install an icon pack that shows visually striking icon so that it is easier for them , like this and replace Macrodroid widget) enter image description here

Tell them to press the widget to send you their location by pressing it. Done!

Your SMS would have a link to the location with a pic as below that you can open in Maps. Ditto in your email

enter image description here

Note: GPS needs to be enabled for this to work (obviously). If you can't trust them to remember enabling GPS, that can also be automated. Steps below

For enabling / disabling GPS root permissions are required normally. It is unlikely their device would be rooted, so there is an alternative - hack in Macrodroid that overrides this limitation

adb shell pm grant com.arlosoft.macrodroid android.permission.WRITE_SECURE_SETTINGS

followed by:

adb shell pm grant com.arlosoft.macrodroid android.permission.CHANGE_CONFIGURATION

Now enhance your macro (in the actions section)

  1. Location Mode → High Accuracy

  2. Wait 15 seconds ( for location to be registered. May need to tweak it )

  3. Select SMS and either select contact or number (yours)

  4. Repeat the action above and enter your email after choosing the default e-mail account registered with their device

(If you are choosing the email option they would need to enable data but if they forget SMS would go through , so you are covered )

  1. Wait 30 seconds

  2. Location Mode → Location Mode off

This would ensure that battery is not drained by GPS and they don't need to remember to enable/ disable GPS

Yet another approach is mentioned in comments - instead of them doing the work, you do it by adding their device to your account and use apps that track lost devices , choice is yours but I think that the solution mentioned here is superior as it does not call for changes on their device settings and is on demand saving battery

Edit: Another refinement possible , add another trigger in the macro . Missed Call and assign your number to it. When you want their location give a missed call (cut the call before they pick up). You will get the location by SMS. This is handy if they are unreachable for some reason and you want their location. Bonus !!!


You can download the app here.

Try glympse app which can be used as a substitute for google maps.

It has very basic structure and high functionality. Various modules are available for easy use. The main advantage is that its not active 24*7.

You can control whom you want to let you track for specific time and always share your location to anybody, anywhere by SMS or E-mail. Its good for both personal use and business use. Just give it a try and see whether your basic need are fulfilled or not.

In your particular case try explaining your relative to how to just share their recent location via SMS. Its very easy or you can set to track their location if they accept your request to track their location.

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