Techcrunch reports that during Google's I/O developers conference they showed off the iPhone version of Latitude -- which lets users
stalk keep track of their friends via GPS and other location-based services -- but not as part of some revamped Map or Google Mobile application as many suspected:
Google has been waiting for the [iPhone] 3.0 software is because it’s not actually creating a native iPhone app for Latitude — as all other location-based services on the iPhone are — instead it’s using the Safari web browser to run Latitude. Thanks to HTML 5, Safari will be able to access a user’s location information and Latitude will be able to access that as well (provided the user gives permission). This will put it on par with what Google is doing in its browser for Android.
Now, Google has made arguably the best and most impressive catalog of WebApps seen on the iPhone to date, but why go that route with Latitude? And waiting for iPhone 3.0 to be released this summer, which also sounds strange given MobileSafari in 3.0 doesn't look to answer any of the persistent-connection problems Latitude faces on the iPhone platform (i.e. lack of background multi-tasking).
So, call us interested but not impressed... yet.
(Thanks antonioj for the tip!)