Starting today, iPhone users may begin enjoying a lot more lunches, coffee breaks, and random shopping mall sit-downs with friends. The Google Latitude app for iPhone was officially released this morning, and it promises to keep users informed of their (consenting) pals' locations at all times.
We won't delve too deep into how Latitude works since it's been out for 20 months and has amassed more than 9 million users through the Android, BlackBerry, Symbian, and Windows Mobile operating systems. The main point is that it shows friends' positions on a map, and then lets people message each other to set up meetings.
An added plus: the app can continue to provide location information when running in the background, so a person can use his or her phone for other things without disappearing off the face of the virtual earth.
Privacy shouldn't be a concern, though, as Google was sure to remind everyone. A post on the Google Mobile Blog noted, "Remember, Latitude is 100% opt-in. You must install the app and add friends (or accept requests) to start sharing your location. You can turn off background updating if you'd like and control the same privacy settings: share only city-level location, hide your location, or sign out of Latitude at any time."
A demo of sorts is available in the video below.
Enjoy the app if you decide to download it. Just be careful that sharing your location all the time doesn't leave you with a dead battery.