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Find out where your friends are—or share your own location—over a phone or PC/laptop with Google's new Latitude service. It's familiar territory, certainly, but Google manages to add some interesting new twists—not to mention a massive pool of users.
Of course, the whole concept of location-based networking—that is, a social network that adds location tracking to the mix—isn't anything new, especially for anyone using services like Loopt or the Buddy Beacon feature on Helio phones. Indeed, one of the oldest location-based networks—Dodgeball, was actually acquired by Google way back in 2005, only to be shuttered last month.
The only problem with services like Loopt, though, is that you can only track fellow Loopt users—and the last time I checked, I had exactly one pal who'd bothered to sign up.
So now comes Google, which brings with it about a gazillion possible users—a "feature" that promises to make Latitude a lot more useful than most of the location-based networks out there.
Before I dive into the details, though, a word about privacy: Google promises that everything about Latitude is "opt-in," meaning that Latitude won't share your location—or even track it—unless you specifically ask it to. That said, I'm sure plenty of folks will be creeped out by the fact that Google is not only taking pictures of every street in the U.S., but also zeroing in on its users.
Anyway, here's the deal: Latitude words as either a client on your phone (supported models include the T-Mobile G1, "most" BlackBerrys with color displays, Windows Mobile 5.0 and better smartphones, and Symbian S60 handsets; the iPhone, iPod Touch, and Java-enabled phones are "coming soon") or as a widget on your custom iGoogle page.
Once installed (instructions are right here), you can share your location with any invited friends (Latitude only shares between pals who've mutually agreed to do so), update your status (à la Twitter and Facebook) send messages (via SMS, IM, or voice call), or see the location of your friends on Google Maps.
With the desktop version of Latitude, you can either manually update your location or use nearby Wi-Fi signals to triangulate your approximate position (you'll have to have Google Gears installed on your browser to do so).
On either a phone or a laptop, you can tweak a host of privacy settings; for example, you can elect to have Latitude only share what city you're in, or to only update your location manually. Source; http://tech.yahoo.com/blogs/patterson/36527
EXPERIENCE IS NOT WHAT HAPPENS TO A MAN BUT IT IS WHAT A MAN DOES WITH WHAT HAPPENS TO HIM
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