How Does the Find My Friends App Work?

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The Find My Friends app for iOS 8 or later uses Location Services and syncs to applications such as Maps to send and receive location transmissions. By collecting this data, users can then locate their friends and family from their mobile devices.

To receive and share location information, users must first provide explicit permission to share their data. A user’s location is only sent from her device if she accept a friend’s request to view it. Location information is never transmitted or recorded at any other instance. Location data is stored on Apple’s servers for 2 hours and then permanently deleted. Users can follow up to 50 friends through the Find My Friends application.

Location information is only tracked for a user’s friends. To track friends and family, users must send a request to receive their location data. Once the user agrees to share her location, the Find My Friend App provides updates on the user’s location on a list or directly on the Map application.

Users can establish both temporary and permanent connections with their selected friends. Temporary location sharing allows users to notify one another when they have reached or left certain locations. Permanent location sharing is not limited to a specific location and allows users to request a friend’s location at any time.