The Google app has come a long way since the days when it was just a search widget for the home screen. Now it contains Google Now, voice search, location services, and even manages the home screen if you use the Google launcher. You can harness all that power to do some cool things as long as you know where to look. For example, Google Now can let a friend or family member know when you’ve started your daily commute. Here’s how to set it up.
Before you get started, make sure you have Google location services enabled in the system settings. You and whoever you’re sharing commute updates with also need to have Google+ profiles. You don’t have to actually use them, but the profile must be enabled.
Once the prep work is out of the way, head into the Google app and open the settings. You’re looking for Accounts & privacy > Commute sharing.
In this menu, you need to flip the toggle to share your commute updates. In order to choose who sees these updates, tap the line right above the toggle reading “Choose who can see your location using Google+ sharing.” This will open the location sharing settings where you can add individual people or entire G+ circles under Pinpoint location.
This person (or people) will then get a Google Now notification when you start your commute home.
How does Google know when you’re leaving work? That’s why you have location services enabled. Google is smart enough to know where you work and where you live thanks to GPS (you can also explicitly set your home and work addresses in Google Maps). You can remove people from location sharing at any time, or just shut off commute sharing in the Google settings.
This story, "How to set up commute sharing in Google Now" was originally published by Greenbot.