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Review & Poll: Google Latitude for the iPhone

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I recently made the switch from PC to Mac. That’s right – I finally succumbed and bought the new MacBook Pro. I’m finding it great and easy to use, but it’s different from PC. Not better, just different in a way that things are only as organized as you make it. But what I’ve always liked about PC was it’s easy compatibility with Google. I am a huge fan of Google, but I couldn’t believe they didn’t have Google Latitude for the iPhone.

Until recently. I thought it was a great way to utilize the built in GPS system and extend it to your friends. I’ve seen the ads for it and I saw it on every other mobile device. As such, I bookmarked it to my homescreen as soon as I found it.

After using it briefly, I already have some initial comments on it. Apple says that they requested Google to build Latitude as an in-browser so as not to confuse users with the already existing Maps application which syncs off maps.google.com. This is able to work because Safari, with the 3.0 OS update, is able to detect My Location. But as I’m sure many of you are already aware of, putting it in a web browser for the iPhone almost completely negates its purpose in the first place.

The purpose I am talking about of course, is being able to see where your selected contacts are whenever. But this would only work well if this information was updated automatically in the background, as it is possible to do with a stand alone application. But as it is a in-browser application, location information is only available so long as both users have opened up their Safari browser.

Well, at that point, I might as well just give my contact a call or a text message and just ask where they are.

When I look at the technology that is available to us, I am a little let down with this particular application for the iPhone. There is so much potential with 3G data and the built in GPS module. I am a user myself of Maps for directions all the time (by the way, directions by Public Transportation) is genius!, although this information isn’t made available in all cities). And it seems this is only limited to the iPhone and not on other devices. I’m not the only one who thinks so as well, apparently.

Google and Apple both say that future changes and updates are coming, and I am hoping with their good rep, that user friendliness will be addressed. What are some of your responses to this newly released application for the iPhone.

[iPhoneinCanada] via [Tech Crunch]

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