Google has lastly released a resident iPhone app for Google Latitude. The web app is nice, but you can't use it to update your place in the background. Google Latitude for iPhone uses one of the new features in iOS 4 that allows applications to track your location even if they aren't in the foreground. That's the main cause why it requires an iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 or iPad 3G running iOS 4. (Update: According to Google, "the Google Latitude app will run on the iPhone 3GS; iPhone 4, iPad, and iPod touch (3rd/4th age band). Though, background location updating is only supported on the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, and iPad 3G.")
The native app is better because it shows more in sequence about the locations of your friends and it sends you to the map view when you click on a friend, but the web app is just a layer in Google Maps and this makes a lot of sense. Google Latitude be supposed to not be a standalone app, it should incorporate with Google Maps and Google Contacts, so you can quickly find your friends.
Marissa Mayer, Google's VP of geographic and local services, has recently said that Google Latitude will add explicit check-ins, stimulated by Foursquare. "Latitude is useful for a lesser group of people. Only a handful of people you'll want to be familiar with where you are at all times. There will be new layers upcoming on top of it. It's more useful while more people are on it. And implicit and explicit — yes, the check-in. Maybe that's in freedom or maybe it's in Maps."
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