Location based applications are the hottest thing on the market according to analysts and the media, regardless of how useless they really are. I mean seriously, except for Google Maps and your annoying hipster friends who whip out their mobile phone so they can use Foursquare every time you change location in an effort to gain useless badges of honor, has there been anything else that’s remotely innovative in the space? Google’s Latitude is an attempt by the giant search engine to help you see where your friends are at this very moment, and hopefully contact them in order to meet up for a coffee/lunch/beer/whatever. It’s available for most platforms, except the iPhone, but that wasn’t the case for a few hours yesterday when Google accidentally launched the official Latitude application for iOS in the Japanese App Store according to TechCrunch.
Of course it was quickly pulled down, but at least now we know that it’s coming. Will it work in the background is a question I’m eager to see answered. Latitude was semi-useful on Android since the process kept running at all times. On Symbian it was a hit or miss since you had to leave the application open, but if you did that then it killed your battery. I’m not sure of the other smartphone platforms, but we’ll have to wait to see what happens.
Are you going to use this application to spy on your friends? Are you going to purposefully blast your location to everyone around you in some sort of desperate attempt to hang out? Do you use location based applications other than Google Maps, Ovi Maps, Foursquare/Gowalla, and if so what are they? I’m always eager to find new ways to use the advanced capabilities of my smartphone, and the GPS chip is sadly not being used by developers in any sort of useful capacity.