How Can Windows Phone Save Your Life? Send Your Location in a Message

If you find yourself in an emergency situation in which you need to share your exact location and ask for help, Windows Phone 8 is there to help. You can quickly send a message with a map and your exact location. This feature can be useful also when you want to meet with someone that doesn't know your exact location and you can't explain very well where you are. You send a quick message with your location and they can figure out how to get to you as fast as possible. We all went through this scenario, didn't we? Here's how it works:

How to Use SMS and GPS to Share Your Location in Windows Phone 8

To begin, open Messaging from the App list or by tapping its tile on the Start screen, if you keep it pinned.

Then, on the bottom of the screen, tap New (the plus sign) to create a new text message.

Use the To field to enter the person(s) to whom you want to send the message. Here, you can either write the person's name or the phone number. Alternatively, you can tap the plus sign on the right to open the People app, where you select your recipient(s).

To insert your GPS location into the text message, tap the Attach button on the bottom menu. Its icon looks like a small paperclip.

The "Attach something" screen is shown. From the list of options displayed, select my location.

If you are using this feature for the first time, Windows Phone asks you to confirm that you are OK with the Messaging app accessing and sharing your GPS location.

Then, a Bing map with your GPS location is immediately inserted into your message. You can see an example in the screenshot below.

Next, you can add text to the message. To do this, tap the "type a message" text beneath the map and write your message.

To send your location, tap the Send button.

If the receiver has a Windows Phone, he or she will receive the message exactly as you see it when sending it. When he or she taps the map, your location is displayed in the Maps app on their Windows Phone. They can use it to get step by step instructions to get from their location to your location.

How Does the Location Look on Other SmartPhones

If the recipient(s) is using a smartphone without Windows Phone, he or she will only see your text and link to the Bing map with your exact GPS location. They can open that link in a web browser to see your location. In the screenshot below, you can see an example of how the message looks on a smartphone with Android.

When the recipient taps the link found in your message, the appropriate Bing map is displayed in his/her browser.

Conclusion

I used this special feature of Windows Phone 8 relatively frequently and I have found it very useful in several scenarios: from real emergencies when I need to share my exact location to meeting with someone. What's great about it is that it works well with other mobile platforms and people not using Windows Phone can easily view my exact location. Similar features on competing platforms don't work that well in this regard.

Try it out and let us know what you think about it. Also, if there are other scenarios when you think it is worth using, don't hesitate to share them with us.