updated 01:30 am EDT, Fri March 29, 2013
Introduces geofencing with more exact distances
Apple's mobile app Find My Friends (free) received a minor update on Thursday designed to allow users to more easily and accurately setup "geofencing" alerts. The feature allows users to be notified when tracked friends or family arrive or depart from a location, and now offers a method for setting an existing distance from or to a target area the person must be in before an alert is triggered. The options for alerts has also been improved, from a simple ping alert to repeating notices. The program works with permission from both parties.
Users can now set a "threshold" distance by tapping a new purple handle and dragging it out the distance desired, with a running notification of exactly how far the distance is. The new feature could, for example, allow a child to move freely around the campus of a school without worrying about triggering an alarm, since the geofence boundary has been set large enough to encompass the entire school grounds.
The iOS app is very popular among families and close friends who frequently meet, as it allows notifications when friends are near or at a specific location. The app can also be used to tie into the Phone, Messages or FaceTime applications.