Apple has filed for a patent (number 9,998,88) for “easy location sharing” via the Messages app on its macOS, iOS, and watchOS devices. Per the invention, an Apple device detects a location-sharing request from a first participant of a message conversation to share first participant location information with a second participant.
The device then enables the second participant to obtain the first participant location information during a predetermined location-sharing time period. In response to detecting interaction by one of the first participant and the second participant with the message conversation during the predetermined location-sharing time period, the device extends the predetermined location-sharing time period.
In the patent filing, Apple notes that text messaging has expanded to include additional functionality, including the ability to share location information between participants in a message conversation. However, some methods for sharing location information can be, however, difficult and/or inefficient, and Apple wants to change this.
Of course, Apple files for — and is granted — lots of patents by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Many are for inventions that never see the light of day. However, you never can tell which ones will materialize in a real product.
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