Glympse Lets You Get More Than a Glimpse of Friends’ Locations

September 14, 2014 - Written By Phil Bourget

Remember how the big deal with Foursquare was that you could share your location, specifically with regard to places around town like restaurants and sights to see?  Well, you might also remember that the company made its own separate app for checking in, which made it sort of de facto in its execution.  But today, Glympse comes to the forefront with location sharing, from a keyboard, and you don’t even have to leave the conversation you’re having with your friend, sister, or cat (though cats don’t understand how to text or type yet, so…). Glympse has an app by the same name, and it allows for location sharing.  Seem boring?  Well, that isn’t all.  It’s not just ‘OMG guys, look where I am!’, it’s also ‘See mom and dad, I DO go straight to school’ (if you happen to have distrustful parents with your new driver’s license).  But that second one takes more than an instant, right?  That’s the special part about Glympse: it allows for anywhere from instant, single-moment location sharing to four-hour-long stints of location sharing, so you can share where you are for a whole sixth of a day!  Doesn’t that sound cool?

Well, it should.  And it gets cooler because you can not just send Glympses to contacts, but also Facebook, Twitter, and Evernote accounts, once connected and authorized by you.  If you want to do that, but don’t want to go into the app, just to say ‘I’m here!’, what can you do though?  With Glympse’s Glympse Keyboard, you can do the same thing, in a single panel, while typing.  Let me explain. In you have the keyboard, any keyboard, open and you have it ready and able to enter text into a field, you see the little input method icon (a small keyboard) in the notification tray, and by pulling the tray open and tapping it, you can switch between keyboards.  And that’s the main point of Glympse Keyboard, not leaving your apps to share the spot you’re chilling at.  You tap to select the keyboard, and, once you enable it in the input methods list in the settings app, you select the Glympse keyboard, and are greeted with the sharing time, what message you’d like to accompany it, and  what the destination is (physical, not the recipient to whom you’re sending the Glympse, to clarify).  Then you send it off, reselect your keyboard of choice, and carry on.  But wait, there’s more!

If you aren’t sold on the idea of having to go out of your conversation to the notification tray, then back there after you’re done, Glympse Keyboard includes a real, full QWERTY (or otherwise, depending on language  and region probably) keyboard, with the ‘G’ key being the key of interest.  Tapping on the G key will input the letter G, but tapping and holding on it will bring up the quick-share interface, the same one that the previous method uses. The keyboard may not be the prettiest from a design and aesthetics standpoint, but if you want a keyboard and to share your location, you can’t go wrong with Glympse Keyboard.  To use the keyboard (either of them), you need to have the full Glympse app installed on your device.  Both apps are free, so if you have the time, go check them out for sure. Should be a great tool, especially for parents with kids that have smartphones and maybe a little too much unreliability.  Regardless, it’s good to see a novel implementation of a not-so-novel idea, and we hope that it only improves. If you have used Glympse before, what did you think of it?  If you are trying it out for the first time, what do you think sells it best?  Let us know.