(Pocket-lint) - You might already be aware of the ability within Google Maps to actively share your location with loved ones, friends and family members.

This is not only a great way to keep an eye on your favourite people when they're out and about, but also serves to let you know when they're on their way home. 

Google has recently pushed a new update to this system which will stop people worrying if you suddenly stop broadcasting or replying to their messages. 

This update was originally reported by Android Police back in February but TechCrunch reports it's now rolling out to both Android and Apple iPhone devices. A simple tweak to the way the location information is displayed now simply shows low much juice your phone has left. 

Best VPN 2021: The 10 best VPN deals in the US and UK

TechCrunch/GoogleGoogle Maps Update image 2

This update means users will be less concerned if the location-sharer isn't immediately replying to messages or isn't reporting their real-time location all of a sudden. 

A small but brilliant change for those worried about the safety of their nearest and dearest. 

If you're not using this Google Maps feature already, it's easy enough to set up.

  1. Open the Google Maps app (on Android or iPhone)
  2. Click the menu button in the top left
  3. Click into location sharing settings

Once in there you can choose who to share your location with, how long for or request location access from someone you know. Just be aware that it will be active until you turn it off again. 

Google's Maps Timeline is often a real eye-opener for how much the company knows about your travel habits, but with this tool, it's also a great way to keep everyone safe. 

Writing by Adrian Willings.