Google software for tracking mobile users coming to iPhone

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Google this morning announced new software that will let mobile phone users share their whereabouts with family or friends, and it's due to turn up on the iPhone shortly.



Dubbed Google Latitude, the technology is actually a new feature of the search giant's Maps software for mobile phones and an iGoogle gadget that can be installed on your computer.



"Once you've opted in to Latitude, you can see the approximate location of your friends and loved ones who have decided to share their location with you," Google said.



"So now you can do things like see if your spouse is stuck in traffic on the way home from work, notice that a buddy is in town for the weekend, or take comfort in knowing that a loved one's flight landed safely, despite bad weather."



The new software also ties into the company's existing fleet of communication services, letting family and friends keep in constant touch through SMS messages, Google Talk, Gmail, or by status message updates. Users can also change their profile photo on the fly.



At the same time, the Mountain View-based firm said it recognizes the sensitivity of location data and has thus built "fine-grained privacy controls" right into the application. Everything about the new Latitude is said to be opt-in, allowing users to not only control exactly who gets to see their location, but also what location they see.



"For instance, let's say you are in Rome. Instead of having your approximate location detected and shared automatically, you can manually set your location for elsewhere -- perhaps a visit to Niagara Falls," Google said. "Since you may not want to share the same information with everyone, Latitude lets you change the settings on a friend-by-friend basis. So for each person, you can choose to share your best available location or your city-level location, or you can hide."







Latitude is currently available in 27 countries on the Blackberry, S60, and Windows Mobile operating systems via google.com/latitude. In the coming days, Google plans to expand the service to its Android-powered handsets. Latitude is also coming to the iPhone "very soon" through the Google Mobile App available for download on the App Store, the company said.



Meanwhile, computer users can visit google.com/latitude on their desktop or notebook to install the Latitude iGoogle gadget and share their location right from their computer.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 42
    bageljoeybageljoey Posts: 1,961member
    I guess, in a few years, this will seem normal, but it seems a little freaky to me...
  • Reply 2 of 42
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post


    I guess, in a few years, this will seem normal, but it seems a little freaky to me...



    Yeah it is I don't support it I can't see why Apple would either.
  • Reply 3 of 42
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    How would it work on the iPhone since it doesn't allow background processes? It could not automatically keep the Google server up to date, you would have to manually touch the icon to send an update.
  • Reply 4 of 42
    I hate the words "shortly" and "soon". And I can't do anything about that.
  • Reply 5 of 42
    virgil-tb2virgil-tb2 Posts: 1,416member
    I love it, but I must admit the part about "hiding" kind of bothers me. If you can be in Rome but have Google maps tell everyone you are in New York that kind of puts a giant flaw in the reliability of geo-location it seems to me. I think you should be able to either be located or not and that's it.
  • Reply 6 of 42
    It's called Loopt.
  • Reply 7 of 42
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post




    "For instance, let's say you are in Rome. Instead of having your approximate location detected and shared automatically, you can manually set your location for elsewhere -- perhaps a visit to Niagara Falls," Google said. "Since you may not want to share the same information with everyone, Latitude lets you change the settings on a friend-by-friend basis. So for each person, you can choose to share your best available location or your city-level location, or you can hide."







    If I'm in Rome with my girlfriend Google will help me tell my wife I'm in New York? Hmm. If I recall from my long-ago youth, the Eighth Commandment says something like, Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness. And Google's motto is something like "Don't Be Evil". How come they're giving me a tool designed to help me bear false witness?
  • Reply 8 of 42
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by delreyjones View Post


    How come they're giving me a tool designed to help me bear false witness?



    You're still the one lying, not Google. You might as well blame the phone company when you tell a lie over the phone.
  • Reply 9 of 42
    aplnubaplnub Posts: 2,605member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by delreyjones View Post


    If I'm in Rome with my girlfriend Google will help me tell my wife I'm in New York? Hmm. If I recall from my long-ago youth, the Eighth Commandment says something like, Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness. And Google's motto is something like "Don't Be Evil". How come they're giving me a tool designed to help me bear false witness?



    Maybe you want to look like your home when you are in NYC so no one tells a buddy you are out of town and they break in your house while you are in NYC.



    Just a thought.
  • Reply 10 of 42
    tomkarltomkarl Posts: 238member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by LE Studios View Post


    Yeah it is I don't support it I can't see why Apple would either.



    You have a choice to not download and use the application.



    Apple has nothing to do with it other than selling an application like thousands of others.
  • Reply 11 of 42
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by LE Studios View Post


    Yeah it is I don't support it I can't see why Apple would either.



    Stuff like this has been available for years on regular phones. And if this scares you, some Googling will get you commercially available software, made to install on a phone and hide itself and the report back positioning information, call data, copies of SMS, you name it.
  • Reply 12 of 42
    Yes, and it's the car company's fault when you speed because the car is capable of going over the speed limit - haha!



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    You're still the one lying, not Google. You might as well blame the phone company when you tell a lie over the phone.



  • Reply 13 of 42
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aplnub View Post


    Maybe you want to look like your home when you are in NYC so no one tells a buddy you are out of town and they break in your house while you are in NYC.



    If your buddy breaks into your house while you're away, you have bigger problems.



    Seriously, your location is shown only to those people to whom you have given explicit permission. A random person off the street cannot see your location, because you have not given them permission. If you cannot trust your friends, you have bigger issues.
  • Reply 14 of 42
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BlackSummerNight View Post


    It's called Loopt.



    Yeah, loopt already does all this for the iPhone, and it also has twitter and facebook links. I see no reason why I'd want to use Google's service.
  • Reply 15 of 42
    virgil-tb2virgil-tb2 Posts: 1,416member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by vandy1997 View Post


    Yes, and it's the car company's fault when you speed because the car is capable of going over the speed limit - haha!



    On the other hand, a chip in every car that forced the driver to obey the speed limit would end more than half of all accidents and save thousands and thousands of lives a year, around the world.



    Just Sayin.
  • Reply 16 of 42
    Google is proud to announce Latitude for Business, allowing Admin to see exactly where you are or if you're goofing off.
  • Reply 17 of 42
    aplnubaplnub Posts: 2,605member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BillTheH View Post


    If your buddy breaks into your house while you're away, you have bigger problems.



    Seriously, your location is shown only to those people to whom you have given explicit permission. A random person off the street cannot see your location, because you have not given them permission. If you cannot trust your friends, you have bigger issues.



    Reread. If your buddy mentions to one of his friends that you are out of town and that guy breaks in or spreads the word to another guy.



    Regarding the chip in cars, it would be hacked.
  • Reply 18 of 42
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post


    On the other hand, a chip in every car that forced the driver to obey the speed limit would end more than half of all accidents and save thousands and thousands of lives a year, around the world.



    Just Sayin.



    Yeah, it would also cripple the already suffering car industry some more as not everybody buys a car to go from A to B, some actually like driving.
  • Reply 19 of 42
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    What's to object to? This is an easy way to VOLUNTARILY tell friends where you are--something we already do the hard way all the time.



    I wouldn't turn it on most of the time, but I would LOVE it for certain situations. Like exploring a fair or park, and being able to find each other when you split up. Much better than "meet me at the fountain at 4:30." Meet whenever, wherever. Then turn it off when you go home for the day. Easy.



    I want this integrated into iPhone's Maps app (and Contact), complete with a photo on the pin.
  • Reply 20 of 42
    razorpitrazorpit Posts: 1,796member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Google this morning announced new software that will let mobile phone users share their whereabouts with family or friends, and it's due to turn up on the iPhone shortly.



    Not coming to my iPhone anytime soon! The tinfoil hat crowd are starting to make more and more sense every day!
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