Google has unveiled a new addition to the Google Maps for Mobile fold: Latitude. Basically, it’s a service which tracks your location – or, technically, the location of your ‘phone – and tells your friends where you are. Obviously, you can see your friends’ locations too.
It’s pretty snazzy, and integrates well with the Google Maps interface. You’ve also got the option of running it as a background task in order to keep your location completely up to date: although this functionality only triggers every few minutes and doesn’t keep a packet data connection open it slaughters the battery – I’m down to half charge on my N95 8GB after a single day’s use, although to be fair I’ve been fiddling with Google Maps in general a lot too.
There are slightly creepy, Orwellian overtones to the whole thing – and anyone who thinks Google is probably an NSA shadow op will be putting their tinfoil hats on as we speak – but it’s also bloody good fun. I’ve got a bunch of friends from work added already, and when the iPhone version comes out I’ll be adding some more.
Whether it’ll end up being anything other than a brief novelty – and how long I keep sacrificing battery life for the ability to tell people where I am at any given moment – remains to be seen.