Apple has been granted a patent (number 10,341,826) for “easy location sharing” for its Messages app on iOS, watchOS, and macOS.
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. The tech giant says that some methods for sharing location information can be, however, difficult and/or inefficient. Apple wants to improve this.
Here’s the summary of the invention: “Systems and methods for sharing location information during a message conversation are provided. An electronic 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.”
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.