A Closer Look at Google Latitude for iPhone, the Web App
Article by George Norman
On 28 Jul 2009
The Google Latitude team has recently released a dedicated Google Latitude app for the Apple developed iPhone and iPod Touch. Following the announcement, we take a closer look at the Google Latitude app, which by the way is not a native iPhone app, but a web app simply because Apple said so. Google developed a native Latitude iPhone app, but Apple decided that a web app would be the better choice.

The first thing you need to know is how to use the Google Latitude app. Just fire up your iPhone’s Safari web browser, type in google.com/latitude and sign into your account. For added convenience you can add a bookmark to the home screen – to do so open Latitude in Safari and tap + -> Add to Home Screen -> Add.


With that out of the way, we can move on to the "closer look at Google Latitude for iPhone" part of this article. I’ve divided it into Latitude pros and Latitude cons.

Google Latitude for iPhone pros
- Using Google Latitude is a very straightforward process. The same user friendliness and ease of use can be encountered when you add friends, approve requests and change privacy settings.
- You can adjust the privacy settings for each contact you add to Google Latitude. You can completely hide your location, you can select to reveal only the city you are in, or you can go as far as to reveal your precise location.
- Your location is updated automatically as long as you leave Google Latitude open in a browser window. If Google Latitude is open in one tab, you can open another tab and browse the web.
- You can update your location manually.
- Works in portrait and landscape mode.
- Turn-by-turn driving directions in the browser window.

Google Latitude for iPhone cons
- It is a web app, not a native iPhone app. You can only open it in the iPhone’s Safari browser. Consequently there are no push notifications, there is no full-screen UI, and no special sounds.
- No public transportation and walking directions, and no Google Street View (like you get in Google Maps).
- Compared to the Google Maps app, Google Latitude for iPhone is a bit sluggish (on the iPhone 3G, not the new iPhone 3G S).

Tags: Google, Google Latitude, Apple, iPhone, iPod Touch
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
You can follow him on Google+, Facebook or Twitter

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