Google Finally Provides Latitude to iPhone Users -- Yeah, it's a WebApp

Google Latitude

Google Latitude -- the service that either allows you to keep track of your friends or be stalked by stalking stalker types, depending on your point of view -- is finally available for the iPhone and iPod touch. No, it's not built into Google Maps as part of iPhone 3.1 with push update capability. No, it's not built into Google Mobile app. No, it's not even set up as an iPhone app in and of itself.

Google Latitude is a WebApp and it runs in Mobile Safari using the iPhone 3.0 geoLocation feature.

Apparently Apple, in their infinitely-looped wisdom, hasn't yet deigned (or Google wouldn't yet offer them the chance?) to build it into Maps, and Apple decided it would be too confusing to users to have another app on the iPhone thats shows the same Google maps. (And it's not when simply framed by mobile browser chrome? Sigh.)

While Google inarguably makes among the best iPhone WebApps in the business, this doesn't strike us an ideal solution. Still it is a solution for iPhone users desperate to get their Latitude on. Until Apple gets their act together on this, here's official word from the blog:

Our Latitude web app provides all the core functionality you might expect: you can see the location of your friends on a map and modify your privacy settings so that you control how your location is shared and with whom. In fact, if my friends and colleagues back in London haven't yet noticed my absence, they'll see in Latitude that I'm currently vacationing on the beach in Australia. Hi guys, remember me!?

[...] To try Google Latitude, type into your iPhone's browser. And if you miss the experience of launching the app directly from your home screen, you can add a bookmark to the home screen by opening Latitude in Safari and tapping the + icon > Add to Home Screen > Add.

Wonder if Steve Jobs is already using it to follow Eric Schmidt....?

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

More Posts



← Previously

Palm Re-Hacks iTunes Sync, Shows They Care More About Ego and Press Than Pre Users

Next up →

Amazon's Jeff Bezos Apologizes to Kindle (and iPhone Kindle App) Users

Reader comments

Google Finally Provides Latitude to iPhone Users -- Yeah, it's a WebApp


It works as a temporary solution, but FAILs bigtime as a permanent one. Hope Apple/Google gets it's collective butts together and makes something better; I find it surprising that BlackBerry, Android, and WinMo can have Latitude functioning the way it should but Apple can't??

They provide a map inside it that you can scroll with one finger. The only way to scroll an element inside a page on iPhone is using two fingers (one finger would scroll the whole page).

Killer, leave it running in Safari. Boom.
I'm starting to prefer webapps. Now that they have an iPhone that can actually cache worth a damn, I prefer using wikipedia's mobile site, bank of america's, and google's RSS reader. They take up less space on my phone too. I think google's right. In the future when browsers are capable of permissions that apps have (imagine safari being able to access your mic, or get input from the dock port, or access the camera) we won't have any need for apps to physically be on the phone.
Also, be careful that you don't let this webapp run down the battery. I remember trying to troubleshoot with an iPhone user who was having a lot of network activity and battery problems. Despite restarting and resetting he realized that in safari he was inadvertently leaving a webpage open that was constantly refreshing a web cam feed of his house. It was running throughout the day.

Maybe iPhone Latitude in Safari is good? Can use 100% WebApps on 3GS and pretend Pages are multitasking card system!

It's a web app but it's the best and quickest webapp I've ever seen!!
But latitude has no use for me. Most of my friends don't have GPS phones and I don't see what the real point of it all is.

@Wesley this is possible in any webpage with a similar map inlay. One finger on the map moves the map not the page. Two fingers would pinch/zoom.

I think this is possibly the best solution, for now, instead of an app with PNS. Safari multitasks for real and supports geolocation, you just need to press the home button and Latitude keeps going on. Sure, its still a battery drainer.

How can you add pictures to your 'friends'. I'm using a person on my contact list and it doesn't show their picture which I have in my contact list.

"Failed to add friends", this is what I get when trying to add any email address. It seems cool, but what am I doing wrong? Verified format, etc, yet nothing works.

Stalk Me - Kill Me...
I'm waiting for the first slaughter enabled by Latitude.
Friends may Come.
Friends may Go.
Friends may peter out you know.
But they'll stalk you thru think and thin.
Peter out, or Peter In.

Hey Icebike:
If you're going to make a comment, base it on fact or experience rather than useless and groundless personal opinion. Latitude is a "tracking aid" not a live location tracking system. The updates are so inaccurate and so infrequent, I could be standing right next to the person and not know it. AT BEST, and I really mean AT BEST, like once in a blue moon, accuracy might be down to the nearest 100 square meters, and in a built-up area that's still useless. 99% of the time, accuracy is something like nearest square KM - yep, now that's going to help be stalk someone. Also, updates are instant nor live. It's like every 10 minutes. So I know that someone was in a 1 square KM region 10 minutes ago - every start panicking now! Latitude is a tracking aid. It tells me that someone I know is actually at the shops the same time as me, or is in town visiting, and we can hook up. That's it.
As for never being able to stop someone seeing me? You click on them, you select "hide from this user", you delete them. Gone forever - take a whole 10 seconds, but you'd know this if you bother to read any of the documentation about it. So how about next time before you start mouthing off pretending to know something about nothing, you just don't, or learn to read. People like you who just come up with opinions based on no facts whatsoever are what's wrong with the world today. I bet you vote too.

Completly useless! I've been waiting and waiting for this. My friends with their Nokia's do this great, my brothers Android does this great, even peole I know using Windows Mobile (yuk!) are doing this fine. This really is the last straw! Apple iPhone is an over hyped pile of rubbish!! I regret buying the 3G, and with only a few months to go on plan I can't wait to get rid of it. Complete junk, and anyone who tries to convince themselves otherwise then explain your way out of the latitude disaster. Very very disappointed Apple / Google. I have to keep safari open and at the front all the time?!? No one else has this problem. The app sits there in the background!
A Complete failure all round here!
As for battery life!!!!
Nokia(Symbian) has no problem.
Blackberry has no problem.
Android has no problem.
WINDOWS MOBILE (AGGGHHH - YUK!!) has no problem.
I know, my friends all use these devices and have no problem with battery life. Apparently it's just the iPhone that would have an issue with battery life, poor me, stupid mug for believing the hype and buying an iPhone. People laugh at me now, poor Justin with his outmoded iPhone. Here's a suggestion for Apple - stop trying to be different!! Either you can do this exactly the same as all other major phone platforms.... OR YOU CAN'T, and what I'm suggesting is that the battery on the iPhone is indeed junk, the O/S is junk, and anything that resembles mult-tasking (see 1980's dictionary) flattens the battery in no time. Maybe it's about time Apple admits that the iPhone isn't the technological wonder we were all convinced it was. After all, if a Windows Mobile phone can multi task, and send hourly updates from Google maps, and also have Exchange push email running, on a 3G network, and the battery lasts 3 days, then Apple has done something wrong. (The phone is a Samsung Blackjack II).

I am disappointed with web Latitude. It has very few useful features, sluggish and reflects Google vs. Apple clash. I think Apple wants to make money with apps after all. They happily accepted Pocketlife into their apps store a couple of weeks ago, a similar app to latitude - - it costs a little but that works just fine and has a quite nice UI to it. Why always go with Google, when there r good startups out there?

My husband, my mother, & I use the "Find My Friend" app. It gives you a map in real time. I can watch my husband turn by turn on the moving map. You have to allow the "find" each time by clicking accept so no stalker worries. You can even publish the results to facebook.

The tracking triangulation feed of every pitstop you make made to publicly accessible databases, means that your wife now owns you, your every movement lock stock and barrell.
Do what the wife says - switch on google tracking of your every movement. Feminist state has men nailed like slaves to their marriage contract, with full traceability expected through google lattitude for example.
If you don't do as the wife or mother of your children says and follow her order so she can trace your every movement, she can divorce you, throw you of your house, stop you seeing your kids...
Any man that thinks he does not have to switch his tracking system on is a fool, or does not care if wife divorces him, or he is forced to appeal to a biased court to se his kids in the future if she has a 'Scorn' with him. She might reasonably ask you to have it on all the time ! So i say with big brother tools in the hands of Wives, women being Tools of the State who utilise the State and law to abuse men and children by taking everything away from a man, in a control freak exercise beyond even Orwell's imagination... So if you are married (In servitude) or want to see your kids regularly (A good Dad), your world just got a whole lot worse. You are now 24/7 a Slave.
Because of Big Brother law and Tracking systems like Google Latitude, I suggest any man does not marry, does not commit to family or children, unless he is prepared to be tethered to a tracking system, now common practice. This is the tool of Big Brother TO DELEGATE tell tale Gestapo style power to the people - The wives.
I may be traceable, and now publically so by my girlfriend, wife or mothers to my children by these GPS, radio mast triangulations etc and forced by Law to do as wife says or be stripped of all material gain for the rest of my life, but as such i must accept my right to disappear off the Radar whenever i feel i want to which remains my right, and if wife, girlfriend, motheres of my children don't like this, then i will drop them like a ton of bricks, as i will not accept willingly servitude.
The power devolved to the keepers of the big brother state - woman has just got a whole lot worse !!!
Don't participate in any relationship that requires slavery.
If she insists on Google latitude on your phone, cut losses, and give your house and children back to her in a Divorce.
Now any man that gets married is a total fool !
Any man that wants to maintain financial control of his a life si similarly risking this if he has a child.
I think the provision of Google Latitude is the straw that breaks the camels back - Women have so much power over men now that any man that enters into any agreement other than anonymous sex is a fool. Women are the real losers here as they are now too empowered. They are too expensive... so Sex yes - any form of commitment whatsoever - No.
No i won't have my phone traceble directly for you to see whare I am, and if you don't like this move on. So infer from this i won't marry you, provide for you, and will likely avoid getting you pregnant !
Use Google latitude and similar Apps, but tell your woman straight, if she does not like how you spend your time - bye. Tough. take a hike yourself as this will mean - Freedom -
The problem is not Google Maps - Lattitude etc, but the empowerment of women that means if you don't accept their demands to switch your Google Lattitude on, they will divorce you and stop you seeing your children. So if she buys you a phone that has apps downloadable to it - divorce her on the spot and kiss good bye to your children, or be her slave.
I know all real men out there will have their google Apps, and divorce their wives and save the humiliation of being divorced.
And Big Brother - Hi... What limitation are you further going to place on the aspiring workingclass male - total servitude to a woman has never been designed in nature - you are destroying the West with cultures controlling us that serve woman.
The barbarian will become uncivilised as necessary to return the ancient order. Yes Google Lattitude - No Servitude to wife - Yes -More women in her place who can accept no control over the male - No to responsibility without authority so Yes to low wages lazy life as no point paying it to a wife and |State in tax and child support - Let her work and raise the children - The Barbarian will move on - poor as maybe - But free.
This revolution which i welcome will trigger a Post Feminist Revolt and a savage 'Don't care' society, and from the ashes the old order will, as it is natures's order prevail.
Thankyou Google Lattitude, I am not criminal, and i am no longer able to take any responsibility on as you have tracked my every move to my wife, so she must go or acept my terms !

Feminist 'Google Maps lattitude' servitude is the final straw...
If one is cornered, then one becomes more dangerous and craves freedom all the more to the point were escaping becomes imperative at any cost.
The Feminist law needs to be re-written to make no profit in divorce and massive rights for fathers to see their children, so children and fathers income not held to ransom by women... as this means the vast majority of men can now no longer offer any commitment to woman and children as a sense of self survival kicks in and like with an injured Lion, all else should flee.
I feel liberated by opting out as most in West are now doing, due to the oppressive State and Law now enforceable to a point of total control of my life as a man, if i were to opt in to marriage, expecting to see my children, foolishly expecting keeping my earnings.
I have now as a result lost all sense of responsibility as all is just a painful path i can not afford to take - nor any real barbarian male, i now instead feel as a slave, who only does what he must, and no more as 'Why Bother? '. And if fed watered and allowed to procreate, then why take on a wife or pursue a career or take on loans etc - just be a drifter - drink beer and let all your ex girlfriends, children and adversaries trace your adventures and drunken frivolities on Google lattitude - and may they weep at all the good times you are having - and accept that they can't have what they haven't got. They have power but not over me - Ho Ho. Sorry kids but your Mum wanted all my money and conrol over my every move - and the State and 'Lattitude empowered her to do this'. SORRY KIDS - YOUR MUMS FAULT - SHE TOOK THE TEMPTATION AND TRIED TO ENSLAVE ME - Sorry and when your older son - follow my example - as at least your wearing your trousers not your wife.
Women are the biggest losers - This new technology traps a man completely like a slave in conjunction with male oppression in Western law, and already prior Google Lattitude and similar Apps, women can't in the majority of cases find more than a one night stand or a short term relationship, as men don't buy into slavery voluntarily and the liability that women pose or rather the risk has just increased thousand fold with this new technology being common place and widely available, made the risk of serious pain for a male grow exponentially.
So if your a man and your girl insists on 'Lattitude being switched on, and they all will once you marry them!! , or they have a child support liability looming for them to use as a lever to enslave you, then you are with the wrong girl. Change her.
As the rest will date freely, as they are on the shelf like out of date rashions that nobody wants and when they turn on you, remember the majority of single ones out there, who will put up with you because they have to, or forever remain spinsters...
Google Lattitude - Thankyou - i need make no commitment anymore unless it suits me or i am forced to... Sorry girls - you'll have to find a mug for servitude... if you want me its on terms of no commitment whatsoever ! Or just don't try threatening me with the State feminist sanctions... if you don't like - move on
Freedom, born from completely opting out of Slave Like Responsibilities ....
I give up, its a great feeling !