Six Colors
Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Jason Snell

Find My Friends comes to El Capitan

Note: This story has not been updated for several years.

Earlier today I posted my review of OS X El Capitan, which I encourage you to read. But while I have never aspired to write about OS X at Siracusean lengths—and congratulations to Andrew Cunningham, Lee Hutchinson, and Iljitsch van Beijnum for following up that act—this year my review’s a little under 5,000 words, which does mean that a lot of stuff got left on the cutting-room floor.

Finding friends and family from Notification Center. I see you, Lex!

Over the course of the next few days, I imagine that Dan and I will be dropping all sorts of new iOS 9 and El Capitan knowledge. With El Capitan rolling out Wednesday, a lot of people will be experiencing OS X 10.11 for the first time, and there are so many new features that it’s easy to miss some if you don’t know where to look.

Case in point: the new Find My Friends widget for the Today view of Notification center. It brings the convenience of the Find my Friends iOS app to the Mac, right there in your Notification Center sidebar, displaying everyone whose location you’re tracking. With a click, you can reveal a map showing their exact location.

To add the widget, click the Edit button at the bottom of the column. A new Items column will slide out, and you can click the green plus icon next to Find My Friends.

By default the widget displays up to five people, but if you’re tracking even more people, they’ll appear if you click the Show More link at the bottom of the widget.

I actually find myself using this widget all the time in the afternoons, when my son rides his bike home from school, so I know where he is—and when I need to open the garage door to let him park.

There’s no reason Mac users should be limited to accessing Find My Friends on the Web (or by starting a Messages conversation and diving into the Details view), and now they don’t have to. As long as you’re logged in to iCloud, the feature works exactly as you’d expect.

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