RSS
Does the world need Google Latitude?
A new iPhone app lets users track their friends' every movement. Critics find it troubling — and pointless
 
Google Latitude may only be helpful to those who are "really into being watched," says one blogger.
Google Latitude may only be helpful to those who are "really into being watched," says one blogger.
YouTube

Google on Monday unveiled its new location-sharing Latitude app for the iPhone, almost two years after promising that its release was "coming soon." Unlike its competitor Foursquare, Latitude lets users track and share their location in real time, not just when they "check in." Is the new app worth adding — or a needless invasion of privacy? (Watch an introduction to Google Latitude)

Latitude is too intrusive: Latitude is only useful if you're "really into being watched," says Ryan Tate in Gawker. You have little control — you can't "share just what neighborhood you're in," rather than your exact location, for example. Plus, Latitude is an opt-out system, so "the app will continue to track and share your every move unless you get into the privacy menu" and disable it.
"Let people track your every move with this iPhone app"

The app just is not flexible enough: Location technology is hot right now, but Latitude is "a real let-down," says Marshall Kirkpatrick in ReadWriteWeb. The software just isn't very good. You can't "share different degrees of location with different contacts," for example, so it doesn't have enough flexibility to be truly useful.
"Google Latitude for iPhone is a big disappointment"

There is no point to it: Being aware of your contacts' location only matters if they are open to meeting up, "or if they are doing something 'braggable,'" says Robert Scoble in Business Insider. Who cares where they are if they're engaged in day-to-day tasks? "I'm not freaked out" about letting people know where I am. "I just don't get any value out of it."
"Google's Foursquare rival, Latitude, is a mess"

 

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week