A person holds a Pixel 6 pro.
Image: Amjith S/Unsplash

The other day, my wife and I were watching something on television when someone said, “drop a pin.” Being a proud member of GenX, I had no idea what that meant. Because my wife deals with people of all ages at her job (unlike me, who deals primarily with cats during the day), she immediately knew what it was and wondered how she could do it in Android.

It took me about two seconds to understand what she was getting at.

For those of my generation, the idea behind “dropping a pin” centers around placing a pin in a map so you can share that location with others in your contacts. Essentially, it’s location sharing, and it’s just as possible with Android as it is with iOS.

Let me show you how this is done.

What you’ll need to “drop a pin” in Android

The only things you’ll need are an updated Android device and the latest version of the Maps app. I’ll be demonstrating on a Pixel 6 Pro running Android 13 and the Google Maps app version 11.51.0704.

Let’s make this work.

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How to enable Location Sharing in Google Maps

The first thing we must do is enable Location Sharing in Google Maps. To do this, open the app, tap your profile icon in the upper-right corner and tap Location Sharing (Figure A).

Figure A

The Location Sharing option in the Google Maps app menu.
The Location Sharing option in the Google Maps app menu.

In the resulting window (Figure B), click Share Location, and when prompted, click Allow.

Figure B

Enabling Location Sharing in Google Maps.
Enabling Location Sharing in Google Maps.

You will then be prompted to configure the location sharing for that instance, where you can select a time frame and any contact you wish to share your location with (Figure C).

Figure C

Configuring your first location share.
Configuring your first location share.

Tap Share, and you will then be prompted to give Maps permission for the device location. Make sure Precise is selected, and then, tap While Using The App (Figure D).

Figure D

Configuring Google Maps permissions in Android.
Configuring Google Maps permissions in Android.

Now that you have Location Sharing configured, how do you drop a pin? There are two ways.

How to drop a pin

If you’re in Google Maps, you can long-press a location on the map, tap Share, select a contact to share the location with and tap Send. The recipient will then receive an email with a link to view the location on Google Maps.

The second method is by way of Google Assistant. All you have to do is say something like this:

Hey, Google, send my location to Olivia Nightingale.

If you have more than one messaging app installed, Android will prompt you to select an app for the sending of your location. The default is Messages, but if you have the likes of WhatsApp installed, you can decide which by stating the name of the app.

By using this method, the recipient will receive a link to your location via SMS.

Either method, the recipient can tap on the link on their mobile or desktop device to open Google Maps to their location.

A word of warning

I would highly recommend you use this feature carefully. Make sure you are only sharing your location with people you absolutely know and trust. The last thing you need is to put yourself in danger by sharing your position with strangers or people who are only on the periphery of your life. Please, use this feature with caution. Do that, and it will serve you well.

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