Today brings two different news items from two huge companies both related to the same thing: check-ins. This morning, All Facebook found an area of Facebook’s site pointing to the ability to check-in to events. And just now, Google has pushed an update to their Latitude iPhone app to allow users to check-in for the first time also. Is a new check-in war brewing?
Well, yes and no.
Neither of… → Read More
It was almost exactly two years ago that Google launched Latitude, their location-based service. Two years may not seem like a long time, but it’s “the equivalent of a decade in location services,” Latitude PM Ken Norton jokes. Most importantly, it was just before Foursquare launched to the world at SXSW in 2009. That changed the entire game, literally, as Google CEO Eric Schmidt likes to say. → Read More
Back in February, we noted a sort of creepy feature of Google Latitude that was annoying some users: Location Alerts. The beta feature actually launched alongside the Location History feature the previous November, but it didn’t get a lot of attention at the time. Then people started getting emails notifying them where their friends were — without asking for such emails. Yeah, a little creepy. → Read More
I often have discussions with various people in the technology industry about location-based services. I also moderate and/or sit on a lot of panels about the topic. Naturally, I constantly read and write about it as well. So how often does Google Latitude come up in all of this? Basically never.
I guess Google really is in a feisty mood tonight. After the Chrome Web Store, Chrome OS, some leaked Google +1 information, and a Google Groups re-launch, we’ve just gotten word that Google has launched an official Latitude app for the iPhone. But oddly, it’s only available right now in the Japanese version of the iTunes Store. But we suspect that will change shortly.
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… → Read More
The ability to multitask got a lot of press when iPhone 4.0 OS was first announced. But less attention was given to some of the more subtle things this will allow, such as always-on location for third-party apps. This feature could actually make a service like Google Latitude useful on the device. So it’s coming, right? Maybe.
I asked Google senior product manager Steve Lee (who is in charge of… → Read More
Facebook is under a lot of heat right now for how it shares our personal information. So much so that it is trying to simplify its privacy controls to so that nobody gets surprised when that embarrassing drunk photo you thought you were sharing only with a close set of friends finds its way all over the Web. (Hint: don’t put up drunk photos of yourself on Facebook). But this problem is only… → Read More
There are a lot of people actively using Google Latitude — 3 million, in fact. But maybe “active” isn’t really a good word for how they use it, since Latitude is a location-based service that’s passive. That is, it is continuously updating your location in the background. You don’t check-in (at least not yet), so there’s not much to actually do. But a new feature today makes this passive service… → Read More
Google Latitude has 3 million active users, but you wouldn’t know it by the amount of buzz they get in the location space these days. (Which is to say, just about none.) The problem is that Latitude has been pretty restricted, and not exactly geared towards how most people are using location-based services these days. (Which is to say, checking-in.) But starting today, that is all changing in a… → Read More
“Hey Foursquare and MyTown, suck it.”
Okay, Google’s Steve Lee didn’t actually say that during the location panel at the Web 2.0 Expo today, but he may as well have. While Foursquare may have just crossed 1 million users, and MyTown now has 2 million, Lee revealed today that Latitude, Google’s location-based service, has 3 million active users — and some 8 million have signed up since the… → Read More
The past couple of days have seen some brouhaha over location privacy issues. Please Rob Me brought up the potentially troubling issue of tweeting out your location updates (and Foursquare responded). But actually, Google is doing something that’s perhaps even creepier.
Google appears to be getting a tad paranoid about its own privacy policies on the heels of the whole Google Buzz debacle. The company apparently sent out an e-mail to some Latitude users this morning, warning them that the service might be giving away their location – which is kind of the whole point of the app – and asking them to check their settings.
If the $8.4 million raised yesterday by geo-social network Gowalla tells us anything it is that geo is red hot right right now. The trickle of geo apps is already turning into a flood. The latest example is Mobcast, an iPhone app (iTunes link) which adds lets you broadcast your location to your existing Facebook friends.
Don’t you sometimes wish you had a map of every place you’ve ever been? Well, if the concept of such detailed self-tracking doesn’t creep you out, you can now do that with Google Latitude, the mobile app that lets you broadcast your location to your friends.
We briefly pointed this out in our longer post on Google Latitude launching on the iPhone, but it’s worth pointing this out separately. In its post today, Google made an unusual admission about its service: It apparently built a native Latitude app for the iPhone, but Apple asked it to make it a web app, so Google did that instead.
Here’s their actual wording:
We worked closely with Apple to… → Read More
Google has finally gotten around to launching its location-based network, Latitude on the iPhone. The service, which has been around for months on the web and Android, BlackBerry, Symbian and Windows Mobile devices may finally be ready to take off now that it’s on the hottest smartphone on the market. But there’s a problem — and it’s a big one.
Latitude, like all other third-party iPhone apps… → Read More
Google’s updates surrounding location are now coming fast and furious. Just a few days ago it added location to Google Maps for the Chrome and Firefox browsers. Today, it brings location to the mobile web on the iPhone.
If you have the new iPhone 3.0 software and go to Google’s homepage in Safari, you’ll notice a new message below the search box that reads, “New! Try My Location to find… → Read More
With many of us using smartphones with GPS now, we’re starting to take for granted applications like Google Maps being able to pinpoint us. But using computer is a different story. Sure, there have been plugins, and things like Google Toolbar, but those are things that most people aren’t going to bother to install. But starting today, location is now built in to Google Maps in the browser —… → Read More
Google Maps for Android has been functional since its release, but now it’s actually catching up to the real thing, and sports some features that integrate it more completely with Android while also increasing its usefulness. Personally, I’m excited about public transportation being included in directions; you’re most likely to need that when you’re out and about and have… → Read More
Today during its keynote address during Google I/O, Google showed off its Latitude location-based service running on the iPhone. This is notable because so far, Latitude hasn’t been available on the huge popular smartphone. Instead, not surprisingly, Google opted to focus on getting it running on Android. But it’s coming, soon, with the launch of the iPhone 3.0 software this summer.
But also… → Read More
Google has released two nifty applications for Google Latitude, a feature launched through Google Mobile Maps that allows you to broadcast your location to select friends, family, and colleagues based on the coordinates of your cell phone (via GPS or otherwise). Google says that since Latitude’s launch, users expressed interest in sharing their location with people who are not their Latitude… → Read More
Yesterday, Silicon Valley’s local CBS affiliate ran a story (video here) about a woman getting her purse snatched. But what’s interesting is the way she got it back: With an assist from Google Latitude.
You see, in her purse, her phone had Google’s location-based social networking service installed, and it was updating the location of her phone in real-time. So even though the thief hopped in a… → Read More
Google Mobile Maps is getting a new feature tonight called Google Latitude. It will allow you to broadcast your location to select friends, family, and colleagues based on the coordinates of your cell phone (via GPS or otherwise). If you have the GPS feature enabled in Google Maps on your mobile phone, you are probably familiar with the reassuring, pulsating blue dot on the map that represents… → Read More