Google had launched a new feature in Google Maps called Latitude back in Feb that allowed users to share their location with their friends and family. At the time of the launch, Google has announced that the feature will be released very soon to the iPhone, through Google Mobile App.
Google has finally released Google Latitude for iPhone but as an iPhone web app and not a native iPhone app. Google has clearly mentioned on their blog that they had to release the feature as a web app due to limitations imposed by Apple on third party iPhone apps.
Mat Balez, Product Manager, Google Mobile Team had this to say on their blog:
Apple thought would be best for iPhone users. After we developed a
Latitude application for the iPhone, Apple requested we release
Latitude as a web application in order to avoid confusion with Maps on
the iPhone, which uses Google to serve maps tiles.
Balez has recognized this limiation:
the background on iPhone (which applies to browser-based web apps as
well), we’re not able to provide continuous background location updates
in the same way that we can for Latitude users on Android, Blackberry,
Symbian and Window Mobile. Nevertheless, your location is
updated every time you fire up the app and then continuously updated
while the app is running in the foreground. And, of course, you can
check in on where your friends are, so we think there’s plenty of fun
to be had with Latitude.
You can checkout Google Latitude, by typing google.com/latitude in your iPhone’s Safari browser.
Please don’t forget to drop us a line to give us your feedback about Google Latitude for iPhone.