Google released its Latitude application for the iPhone last week after a nearly two year delay. The Google Latitude app allows iPhone users the ability to share their location with friends and contact them through by phone, text message or email. Latitude functions much like other social networking apps, meaning that you must be a “friend” with someone in order to see their location and information.
iPhone Finally Gets Google Latitude
Apple and Google’s tense relationship is blamed for the long delay. The Latitude app was released to the Android, BlackBerry, Symbian and Windows devices back in February 2009. However, according to an article appearing in Mobiledia, after the Google Voice program was rejected from the iPhone maker’s app store, Google launched an FCC investigation into Apple’s practices, citing Apple’s fear that the call management software would replace iPhone’s “core mobile telephone functionality.”
As with all Google apps, Latitude is free. You can set it to only share locations when in use, or share continuously in the background. Because of this feature, it runs on devices powered by Apple’s iOS 4.0 or later. Only 3G devices such as the iPhone 4, 3GS and iPad 3G support background sharing.
“You can see where your friends are and now, even in the background once you’ve closed the app,” said Chris Lambert, a software engineer at Google.
Do you have an iPhone? Are you glad you can finally have this Google app or are you pretty much non-plussed? Personally I don’t find the app all that exciting. With the GPS in my Droid X, I have plenty of apps that will give me all and more than what Latitude offers. And as with all the GPS functions and apps, I wonder just who is keeping track of me. I’m not so sure I like the idea that Big Brother watches my every move. Even though it is supposed to be secure, if you share your location with friends, it probably wouldn’t take much to hack my location. Of course that begs the question, why would anyone want to know where I am. But just the fact that they could know where I am is a little scary.