When Google upgraded their operating system to Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, the Google+ area added many enhancements, mostly in the photo-sharing department, but they also threw in a great new “Location Widget.” With this 4×2 widget you can actually track the location of family members, friends, or your entire circle of friends right on your Home screen or whatever screen you choose to place the widget. It is very easy to do if you follow a few simple steps we will outline below.
Make sure you have the right G+ build
This easy enough to verify that you are using the 4.2 build:
- Open your Google+ app
- Press the Menu key
- Press the Settings
- Press About Google+ – and if you see the screen above, then you can proceed.
Next you want to select the screen you wish the widget to be placed – just make sure that there is room for a 4×2 widget to fit. Press down on the screen and the above screen will pop up. Select the Apps and Widgets line and it should bring up you list of Apps and Widgets – select the Widget heading.
Swipe through the screens until you see the Google+ User Location widget, 4×2…it looks a little like a shot of a Google Map. Press and hold down on the widget and it will show up on the screen that you previously selected to place the new widget on. Place it where you want on that screen and lift your finger.
The above screen will pop up and here is where you can select either one person, a particular circle, or all of your circles…it simply depends on who you want to “follow.” Most likely it would be a family member, perhaps one of your children, or to figure out if your spouse is stuck in traffic on their way home from work.
If you choose a circle of friends, the widget results in the above configuration – kind of like a stacked deck of cards that you can easily swipe through…when you reach the last one, the widget simply takes you back to the first one. If you want more detail, simply tap on the smaller screen and you will get the full-screen map where you can pinch and zoom, etc. It is quite a nice looking widget and very functional…Google certainly gets its mileage out of its Google Maps!
Let us know in the comments or on Google+ if you try this new widget and what you think of it!