Yesterday while playing with my iPhone I remembered an application I used on my T-mobile G1. This application was Latitude which I unfortunately couldn’t find it in the Appstore. Latitude is a Google service where you can see the location of your friends in Google Maps. and provide your own location to your friends. Today while reading my RSS feeds I saw that Google released Latitude for the iPhone.
Normally you would expect them to release a iPhone app for that, but according to the Google’s Mobile Blog there were some complications about releasing an extra Latitude application.
We worked closely with Apple to bring Latitude to the iPhone in a way Apple thought would be best for iPhone users. After we developed a Latitude application for the iPhone, Apple requested we release Latitude as a web application in order to avoid confusion with Maps on the iPhone
Since it is possible for safari to access the GPS-data on the iPhone, Google created a web application which makes the use of Latitude very comfortable and easy.
Browse to http://www.google.com/latitude on your iPhone and sign in with your Google account. Luckily all options which are on Windows Mobile and on the Android Platform are also available on the iPhone version. Besides viewing the location of your friends and updating your own location some nice features are:
- Set your location either automatically or manually, or hide your location.
- Add friends from your Gmail contacts or by entering an emailaddress
- View all your friends on a map
Because the iPhone does not support running applications on the background there is a major downside of Google Latitude on the iPhone: your location is only updated when the application is running in the foreground. So you have to have the application open all the time in order to automatically update your location.
Here are some screenshots of the iPhone Latitude application.