Google Working on Latitude for iPhone 4.0?
is reporting on some interesting comments
by a Google exec that suggest that the company may be working on a iPhone OS 4 version of its Latitude app. Apple had blocked Latitude from the App Store, claiming "confusion" between Google's location-sharing service and the native Maps app. Availability of location data across all apps is one of the powerful features of the new OS, but Latitude only exists on the iPhone as a web app. Google said it is “evaluating the best way" to bring Latitude to iPhone OS 4, which indicates that Google at least thinks it has the option of doing it as a full-fledged app.
Google's service, which enables you to share your location with other friends in real time, has been available on the iPhone as an HTML5 web app. However, location updates are only available when it's active, which sharply limits the service's functionality for users that haven't jailbroken and installed Longitude. Google said publically at the time
that Apple had asked them to not submit an app to support the service last year, claiming that "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. This was generally received with disbelief by observers who noted the proliferation of navigation apps on the iPhone.
However, Google appears ready to make another run at it. “From the start, we’ve made Latitude available across platforms,” Google senior product manager Steve Lee wrote in an email to TechCrunch
. “Supporting iPhone with a great Latitude user experience is extremely important to us, and we’re evaluating the best way to deliver that on iPhone OS 4.0 now, so we don’t have anything to announce just yet.”
It's unclear why Google thinks its chances might be any better in 2010, with Apple and Google in more or less open war; in 2009 the companies were still friends... or at least frenemies. With Apple supposedly working on rolling out a whole suite of location services
, it might be rough going.