Glympse not rattled by Apple adding location sharing features in iOS

Mel Martin
M. Martin|06.03.14

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Glympse has been my favorite app for letting people know where I am with a real-time map and estimated time of arrival (ETA) information.

Now, Apple has announced some new features in iOS 8 that mimic some of the functions of 3rd party location-based apps. Apple puts the location sharing in Messages, and lets you share your location one time, for an hour, or indefinitely.

I talked with Glympse CEO Bryan Trussel this morning about the new Apple features, and actually he said they were expecting Apple to do that, and he was "surprised it took Apple so long."

He doesn't consider the announced iOS 8 features as a full replacement for Glympse, which sends a link to a constantly-moving live location map and provides frequently updated ETA estimates.

The Glympse platform has become really popular, and Trussel says their technology is used by Mercedes, BMW, Ford, GM, Jaguar, Volvo and Land Rover. In cars, Glympse is accessed through a smartphone connection or directly on a car "infotainment" screen when a manufacturer has enabled it. Glympse is also a feature on the Navigon and Garmin iOS apps.

Trussel wonders about Apple offering "indefinite" location updates, saying most people will want more privacy. As Glympse is configured, all location updates expire at a time set by the user.

Glympse is also aiming at smartwatches, and soon a Pebble app will be going out. If Apple ever ships a smartwatch, expect Glympse to be there too.

As for iOS, Trussel says he is eager to see what Apple is doing in the location sharing space, and says an upcoming iOS version of Glympse will have new features and a re-designed GUI that is cleaner and easier to use.

Glympse for iOS is available in the app store for free, and there is a web based version for Macs or PCs. Glympse is a Seattle-based company, and the app first appeared on iOS in 2009.

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