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How to Locate Yourself and Others with an Android Phone

The Maps app on an Android phone shows your location as a blue dot or compass arrow on the screen. But where is that? To find your current street address, or any street address, long-press a location on the Maps screen. Up pops a bubble that gives your approximate address, as seen in the following figure.

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If you touch the address bubble, you see a screen full of interesting things you can do.

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When you’re searching for a location, the distance and general direction are shown next to the Street view preview. Otherwise, if you’re just finding out where you are, the distance and direction information isn’t necessary.

The What’s Nearby command displays a list of nearby businesses or points of interest, some of them shown on the screen and others available by touching the What’s Nearby command.

Choose the Search Nearby item to use the Search command to locate businesses, people, or points of interest near the given location.

What’s really fun to play with is the Street View command. Choosing this option displays the location from a 360-degree perspective. In Street view, you can browse a locale, pan and tilt, or zoom in on details to familiarize yourself with an area, for example ¯ whether you’re familiarizing yourself with a location or planning a burglary.

Some Android phones let you use the Text Messaging app to send your current location to a friend. If your pal has a phone with smarts similar to those of your Android phone, they can use the coordinates to get directions to your location. Maybe they’ll even bring tacos!

To send your current location in a text message, obey these steps:

  1. Start a new text message to the person desperately wanting to know where you are.

  2. Press the Menu soft button and choose the Insert command.

  3. Choose Location and then choose Current Location.

    Your current location appears on the map preview screen, along with your current address (if it’s known).

  4. Touch the Attach Location button.

    The street address (if available) is inserted into the message, along with a short URL link to your location on a map.

  5. Edit the message to add more details, such as “Bring tacos,” and touch the Send button to send it.

A recipient who receives the text message can touch the link to open your location in the Maps app.

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