Google has just released a series of updates for their Google Maps Android application. Two of these updates are useful: Place page reviews and the ability to filter search results. But one of them is really interesting: real-time location updating in Google Latitude.
To be clear, this feature is an experimental one that Google is trying out. But if you enable it, your friends on the service will be able to see where you are in real-time (and vice versa, if they enable it too). Previously, location updates through Latitude would occur regularly, but not in real-time. The reason is that this constant sending of location data can wear down mobile phone batteries much quicker. Many service that update location in the background instead tend to ping towers to see if you’ve moved periodically.
But this new real-time feature is meant for short-term usage if you’re going to meet up with a friend, for example. It make sense to make this a more temporary option for both battery life, and because of the creepy factor. Even if people opt-in to using Latitude, if you know you’re being tracked in real-time, that’s fairly creepy.
Sounds awesome. Can’t wait to try it out.
This is all a part of Google Maps 4.6 for Android (1.6 and later). It’s available now in the Market or if you click here from your device.