October 25, 2014

Find My Friends! - A family and friends locator that will inform (and scare) you

find_my_friends

Find My Friends! (FMF) is a location-sharing app similar to Glympse, but it also adds police reports, check ins, and mugshots to give you an eerie look into what you may or may not know is going on around you.

unnamed1FMF prides itself on adding friends and family members to keep an eye on each other’s whereabouts.  To really enjoy and get the full benefit of FMF’s app, you will need all your friends and family to install the app and add you.  This is a fairly big hindrance to people without smartphones or tablets; you are not able to share your location without the app.

However, for those people that can install the app and add you, FMF shows a great map after you open the app giving you your location along with police reports, hospitals, mugshots, check ins, and your family and friend’s locations.  You can turn on or off what you see so if you do not need to see a criminals face in a mugshot, you do not have to.  The main screen also allows you to send out a quick message to any of your family members and friends; though, you cannot attach your location, how far away you are, or any extra information.

From the slideout menu, you can view messages from all your family and add specific places to notify you when one of your friends arrives or leaves at that specific place.  This is incredibly handy, but it is limited to two places in the free app.

[pullquote2 quotes="true" align="center" textColor="#000000"]…perfect for those situations where your family is at an amusement park or ball game and need to find each other.[/pullquote2]

That brings me to the premium service which brings quite a few great features for $4.99/month.  You get access to a 24/7 advisor for emergency situations, roadside assistance that uses your GPS to locate you, you can locate six non-smartphones (not so accurate), and a nice $100 phone insurance if your phone is stolen (not quite sure how well that works).  Of course, you get unlimited specific locations as well.

I had no problems with the GPS finding my location or using any of the features; although, FMF gives you a ton of information as soon as you open the app, it does not really guide you into navigating the app.

While I do not think FMF is as simple or broad as Glympse was, it has its own set of features which makes it stand out.  FMF is perfect for those situations where your family is at an amusement park or ball game and need to find each other.  You cannot easily share your location with a specific person, but you can keep track of all your family members at one time if you need to.  FMF is aimed more toward families and that is where it shines.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

What we liked

  • Very informative.
  • Easy to add family and friends.
  • Tons of features in the Premium version comparable to AAA and OnStar.

What could be improved

  • Even after deselecting “Run in Background,” it seemed like my GPS was always running after opening the app once.
  • Very close to the spying-line for friends.
  • Estimated time to arrival location sharing.

[download_link link="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.fsp.android.friendlocator" variation="green" target="blank"]Download Find My Friends! (Google Play)[/download_link]