Why Would My Buddy Even Want Me To Install Find My Friends?

My best friend, who lives in California, wants me to install “Find My Friends” on my iPhone. The basic jist of FMF is you install it, and people you give permission to can then track your every movement.

I cannot think of a single good reason why Best Bud would want me to do this. Maybe if you were hanging out at an amusement park or something in a group, turning this on could be helpful, but why the hell does he want to know where I’m going at all times? And of course if I give him blanket permission to know when I’m going to Wendy’s or on a date or to a cathouse or whatever, then if I turn it off, he’ll ask why.

I’m sorry but I found this request frickin’ creepy. I like mobiel technology and social networking but I do not want to literally bug myself in a manner super easy for someone to track my movements.

(Note; I realize it’s possible, when my phone is turned on, for the cell phone company to know where I am. But that’s not the same thing as someone ASKING to bug me.)

Are you sure someone hasn’t hacked his email and sent you a bogus request under his name? Or it may be that your buddy bought the app and the vendor has something from somewhere linking your name to his and sent you an invite to join your “friend” on the app.

I think the app was included in the IOS 6 update. I saw it for the first time on my phone after I updated.

Body snatchers, most likely.

It came out in iOS 5, but was an optional download. I’m not sure if it was a standard app after the update to 6 or not since I installed it before then.

It’s most useful for meeting people at an event or place. Then you don’t have to send multiple emails for coordination or have a “where the hell is _____?!” conversation where you discover no one has _____'s phone number or email, and no one knows where the hell _____ actually is, so everyone stands around wasting time for 20 minutes or so until _____ shows up or everyone says, “Fuck it, we’re going.”

Even if you have FMF installed, you can turn the location reporting off at any time by going to the Location Services menu and switching it to OFF. This can be done on a per-application basis for any application that reports location information. If the app has recently accessed information there will be a little arrow next to the slider. There’re detailed notes on this at the bottom of the location services menu.

If you’ve never opened that option before, you might find a few installed apps that you didn’t even know were reporting location info. Anything that you think shouldn’t need it — like among my apps Epicurious (a menu/food program) or FlightControl (a game) — can be disabled.

I’ve used it in the past to figure out if I can meet up with someone. No one I know leaves it on all the time. We usually do it like, “I’m going to be out today. I’ll turn Find My Friends on. If you’re close by where I am around lunch time you can send me a message and we’ll meet up.”

You can do a more-or-less permanent invite, were if you don’t want it to track you, you disable location services until you’re ready to use it again. Or, you can do an event invitation that expires at a time/place of your choosing. In that case, it’ll stop tracking you and everyone else when the “event” is done.

maybe its just something new and shiny he has just noticed and want to try it out with his buddy? it is sorta like a toy radar or something.

I haven’t a clue what your friend’s motivation is here, but that app is great when phones are lost.

My little sister’s iPhone went missing, and when she called it the people who’d picked it up laughed at her and pretty much told her to pound sand. So she, another sister and her huge boyfriend went to where the tracker said the phone was (a carryout parking lot) and blocked in the car that had it. She got her phone back.

That’s what I’m thinking. It’s a novelty and he wants to try it. After half a day it will be forgotten.

Hell, I still wonder about some people who want to be friends with me on Facebook. The sister of my son’s friend’s mother? Really?

This is pretty much a long shot, but have you considered - ya know - just asking him?

Given that he’s the one who asked you, there’s a small chance he’ll have some idea of why he asked you.


Having said all that, it’s possible he had a knee-jerk reaction of “hey that’s cool, let’s try this thing out” before he really thought through all of the implications; when you point out those uncomfortable implications, he may realize what a dumb request it was.

Given that he’s your best friend, seriously, you ought to be able to discuss this with him.

My SO and I both have iPhones and saw the commercial that included that bit. Unspoken words gave us both consent that neither of us wants to be tracked like that. Sometimes he works late or I’ll go to the doggy park but a quick call or text would solve that info without that breach of privacy.

Except that RickJay lives in Ontario, Canada, and the friend lives in California, USA.

What’s more likely is that he installed it and it said “hey do you want us to send a message to all your friends suggesting that they install it to?” and he clicked yes.

I dunno, my boss/friend and I installed it and added each other for the hell of it. It was a fun novelty for a while, then he turned his side off. It was cool to see where he was on his Hawaiian vacation, and we checked out of curiosity when he was late coming back from meetings, but it isn’t as if either of us have anything to hide.

Oh, and then there was the time he offered to pick us up coffee but didn’t say from where so we tracked him to the coffee shop by his kid’s school.

I can’t say what your friend’s motivation may be, but I doubt he has anything nefarious in mind. If I were you I’d just reply “Nah, I don’t want to do that,” and forget about it. No need to get all worked up.

So? You don’t have to live anywhere near each other. My mother wanted me to use it when iOS5 came out with it, but she lives in New Zealand and I live in Australia. It was a novelty that we played around with for a week then never looked at again.

RickJay, Find Friends doesn’t give other people blanket ability to see where you are. You have to be signed in to the app for it to work.