Need to share your location for a limited amount of time and just with a single person? I don’t think I’ve seen an easier method than Mapfia, a new mobile app for iOS and Android. Springwise highlighted the software on Tuesday and I took a closer look. All you have to do is call someone and Mapfia shares the location of both people in the phone conversation for the length of the call. There is one caveat, however.
I installed the free software and used it for a test call; it showed a fake user nearby me on a map. A nice touch is the routing button on the map. Tap the button and Mapfia will show you how to navigate to your friend. I love the concept, which reminds me of Glympse, a similar app that I use often. Unlike Glympse, Mapfia doesn’t require any special action to share location. You simply use the app to make a voice call.
However, there’s a few items that may be sticking points for some and one relates to the reason I used the app’s test call feature instead of calling someone I know. Mapfia doesn’t have a dial pad, which sounds odd at first, but makes sense when you think about it. Both callers need to have Mapfia installed and be using it for the voice conversation. Mapfia says calls are free.
So how do you actually call someone with Mapfia? Upon installation you must give the application access to your phone’s contacts. There’s no way around this requirement that I can see. And once you do so, that app prompts you to invite any or all of your contacts to use Mapfia; this option you can skip. Of course, if you do that, you don’t have anyone to call and share your location with.
I’m not pointing this out as a problem with the software, because without both ends of the conversation using Mapfia, I can’t see how it would work. However, if you’re the type that doesn’t want to gain a service by sharing personal information of your own, or your friends, this isn’t the solution for you. I may keep it on my phone and add only my family members to the service as I’d most likely use it with them anyway.