One of the coolest things about iPhone OS 4.0 is the ability for location-based services to run in the background. So, it’s only natural to wonder if Google will be bringing its Latitude service to Apple’s smartphone as a native app. The search giant said it is “evaluating” the possibility but there’s also a chance Apple wouldn’t allow the app anyways.
“From the start, we’ve made Latitude available across platforms,” said Google senior product manager Steve Lee, in an e-mail to TechCrunch. “Supporting iPhone with a great Latitude user experience is extremely important to us, and we’re evaluating the best way to deliver that on iPhone OS 4.0 now, so we don’t have anything to announce just yet.”
The service, which enables you to share your location with other friends, has been available on the iPhone as an HTML5 web app for a while now but it loses much of its appeal without the ability to run in the background. Google said that Apple actually asked it to make this a web app as there could be confusion with the native mapping program. This is complete BS because multiple other apps utilize maps and we later found out this was just part of the bigger beef between the companies, which included the blocking of Google Voice.
Even if it doesn’t show up as a native app, I’m sure that iPhone owners will be able to reap the benefits of Latitude because the search giant has recently introduced an application-program interface for other app makers to use. This means developers can use location-based services without having to pay for or create a geographic database. This could lead to innovative apps like a credit card that utilizes location for extra authentication or a program that can automatically shut off your lights when you’re away from your house.