If you haven’t heard of it yet, Google Latitude is a location-based social network that allows users to share their location with their friends. An official iOS application for the service popped up in the App Store over the weekend, then quickly disappeared again for unknown reasons. However, today the search giant has officially released its iOS application and it’s now available to download worldwide.
“Latitude lets you stay in touch with your friends and family by making it easy to share where you are and see each other on a map,” reads the application’s description. With Latitude, you can:
- See your friends on a map – find out who’s nearby and meet up.
- Share your location continuously with whomever you choose – help friends and family stay in touch with you, even if you can’t take out your phone.
- Control you privacy – share only city-level location, hide your location, or turn off background updating at any time.
Google’s Latitude service launched in February, 2009, but support for the iPhone wasn’t available until the company released a web app in July, 2009. Apparently, Apple requested that Google provide a web app, rather than a native iOS app, as it was worried users would confuse the Latitude app on iOS for the built-in Maps application.
What’s interesting – as MacRumors – points out, is that the application that appeared on the App Store over the weekend was labelled as version 1.0.0, however, today’s release labels Latitude as version 188.8.131.526. This suggests that the initial release had issues that were discovered as it was rolled out, leading to its prompt withdrawal.