Earlier today, Google started rolling out a major update to Google+ for Android. Together with our readers, we've examined every corner of the app and found a whole bunch of things that are new to this version 4.2 but haven't been mentioned in the official announcement. You should definitely read through the list if you haven't yet.

However, one new feature that I found fascinating managed to fly completely below the radar because it's located not within the app itself but rather in the widget menu. That feature is a brand new widget called User Locations.

As you have probably guessed from its name, User Locations shows you your contacts' locations. Add an instance of this widget, select the Google+ account and contact you're interested in (this contact has to have G+ location sharing enabled), and voila - the location is displayed right on an appropriately zoomed in map tile, along with the alternating update time and city information.


I'm not sure how frequently the widgets are updated, if at all, but if you want to force a refresh, a convenient Refresh button can be found at the top right corner.

Update: If you add a Google+ circle instead of a contact, you get a stack of cards you can cycle through:


Pretty sweet, isn't it?

wm_Screenshot_2013-10-29-15-45-37 wm_Screenshot_2013-10-29-15-45-49 wm_Screenshot_2013-10-29-15-42-36

Thanks,  +Luuk Meulendijks!

Artem Russakovskii
Artem is a die-hard Android fan, passionate tech blogger, obsessive-compulsive editor, bug hunting programmer, and the founder of Android Police.
Most of the time, you will find Artem either hacking away at code or thinking of the next 15 blog posts.

  • afunyunyunyunun


  • Jivester


  • Dave

    Who needs the nsa...

  • Matt

    Cool functionality, but the UI reminds me a little too much of Gingerbread-era widgets (especially the scrollable one if you select more than one user per widget). Something about those rounded corners...

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      The Maps resolution isn't that great either, and it's not resizable (well, it is, but it looks like ass).

      • Brian Menius

        That's an understatement if I've ever seen one. Still a cool new feature, though.

  • Franco Rossel

    Stalker certified!

  • http://shanked.me/ Shank

    Before everyone starts complaining -- this is opt-in via Google Now (it asks if you want to share your location with your circles)

    • Brian

      Where? I went into the settings for the app and didn't see it.

      *Edit* Yeah you said Google Now but meant Google+

      • http://shanked.me/ Shank

        Sorry -- that's Google+ -> Menu -> Settings -> [Your Name] -> Location sharing. There's a toggle that turns the feature on, and it has a "sharing with" circle list that determines both city wide location and pinpoint location sharing too.

        • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

          you can also do this via G+ and I believe the Google location settings in GSM

    • roxannelgj914

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    • elmakwagy

      I enabled both (city wide & pinpoint ) and still not working.. it keeps loading and loading without any results or circles

  • KoRRo

    one widget per person? i don't think it's so useful this way, it uses too much space in the home screen.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Well, I suppose a stack would work, similar to how news tiles are displayed in widgets, but not a single widget view. How would you envision that would work, at least with the map UI? Maybe as a unified list with the distances from your own location listed...

      • Matt

        You can have a stack. You just select a circle to display in the widget. I have a specific circle set up for Location Sharing (aptly named "Location Sharing") and it scrolls through.

        • J.J. Valenzuela

          how did you make this location sharing circle? did you have to do it manually or is there a way to find who is sharing their location with you?

          Also, where is your wallpaper from?

          • Justin Swanson

            I'm pretty sure it's manual... Great idea though

          • Matt

            I created a circle for my location sharing (I just added specific people I wanted to share location with to that circle). You then go to https://www.google.com/settings/plus, scroll down to Location Settings, Enable Location Sharing, and select "Custom" for "Who Can See Your Pinpoint Location"....I chose the "Location Sharing" circle. I then add anybody I want to that circle, problem solved and I never have to check it out again.

            Oh the wallpaper is actually from the Apple subreddit.http://www.reddit.com/r/apple/comments/1petia/anyone_else_a_fan_of_the_ios_7_nebula_wallpaper_i/ It's one of the official iOS 7 wallpapers:P Here's the actual link http://i.imgur.com/loAxGyL.jpg

          • Jonathan Epp

            Cool, how did you get the transparent status bar and hot keys?

          • Matt

            AOKP has the transparency options. If you don't want to flash a custom ROM, I think the Xposed Framework (root required) has similar features.

          • Jonathan Epp

            Thanks. I'll look into to it. I just got a new Moto X, and for the first time ever I didn't immediately unlock and root it...

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

          Thanks, awesome, post updated.

      • KoRRo

        well, it could have changed from map to list based on the distance between contacts, when used for a specific local circle a city view of the map could be enough for all.
        for example i'm thinking of my local ingress circle, knowing where they are could be very useful and most of the times a single map is enough, on the other side using single contact widget simply is not an option, i don't have enough free space on my launcher.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

          Baby steps.

        • SickoPsycho

          get iitc mobile. win.

  • Guillaume

    Pretty creepy if you ask me, I always make sure that it's off

    • Tore Julø

      Why creepy?
      There's nothing creepy about sharing your location with your friends or family.
      You can turn it off and on as you like.

  • Brian Utne

    Well that's.....that's just great...

  • MotoXYZ

    That will make it tough for AP staff to fake call out sick...

    • Justin W

      I know this was a joke... But i'm pretty sure most of them work at home :)

  • mlj11

    So many new features... Could ya'll round them up in a teardown, please?

  • Johnathan Rodriguez

    This is some creepy stu- Oh....it's opt-in? As in, I would have to go out of my way in order for people to know where I am? Oh, makes perfect sense.

  • Doctor Awesome PHD

    I can't even get it to load contacts or circles

  • Paul_Werner

    If you set this up on a circle then the widget is scrollable between contacts that share their location with you

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Don't know why I didn't think of trying that. Thanks, updated!

  • Gomfam

    My contacts keep loading

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      I had the same problem with my personal account but it worked fine with the AP page. I just tried again though, and this time it loaded fine. So keep trying.

      • Irfan

        For me also its keep loading. What should i do

  • dogulas

    I wish it were possible to default it to satellite view. Or even change it to satellite view for that matter. Cool though.

  • Bob G

    Now, tracking your SO's whereabouts just got easier... ya paranoid psychos!

  • Brian Menius

    That "convenient refresh button" seems to just take me into the location app rather than refreshing the widget. Anyone else?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Nope, it works if you hit it. Maybe your touch is missing the button?

  • http://www.bordersweather.co.uk/ Andy J

    So.... according to the comments here - it was fine when it was in Latitude, it was fine when there was a Latitude widget, it was fine when you had to open the G+ app, search for the person you were looking for, or visit the Locations part of the G+ app.... but now that it's available as a widget - it's creepy?? The thought processes of some people just make me wonder how we ever survived this long as a species.....

  • Low IQ

    is this the Latitude replacement?

    • NBM

      G+ has basically had latitude...in the slide out menu under "locations". The widget is something new though

  • trickytree1984

    Broken for me. Just sits loading circles when I try to add it

    • Hubert Farnsworth

      same for me (htc desire 500 dual sim, android 4.1)

  • Dan

    Did you just show the entire interweb where David's house is?

  • Dennis

    Just updated my gn7 2012 to KitKat 4.4.2 and the location widget just tries to load and never does. I believe I have everything enabled.

  • Liron

    I must be doing something wrong. I can't see any circles...it just get stuck on loading. How can I fix this?