Google Inc’s Latitude has debuted which lets mobile phone users share their exact location from anywhere in the world. The cell phone application supports full privacy functions to limit what information to share with friends. The program also comes with SMS and instant messaging capabilities.
“Google Latitude allows you to share your location with friends and view their locations on a map. Latitude is completely opt-in, so you must enable it before you can start sharing location and can disable it at any time,” Google officials said on their Web site.
Google Latitude Includes Full Privacy Features
This means that the mobile phone user has to allow access for anyone to view your virtual map location. The application is facing scrutiny by critics who believe it could be abused by people who want to spy on others, including stalkers. For example, if the wrong person steals a phone belonging to a friend who already has access, anyone can follow the app and know where you are.
However, the chances of that happening is slim. While it is possible, you still have to update your location in Google Latitude and can always deactivate the application or remove people from your list.
“When you select the city level sharing option for individuals, those friends will see your photo icon without an arrow beneath it and without an accuracy circle in the map view. Your photo icon will also appear in the middle of your current city location,” Google said.
The Mobile Application Comes With Parental Benefits
This cell phone application is also ideal for parents who want to know where their children are. For instance, if a curfew has passed, a parent could easily know where their children are as long as the mobile phone application is running.
Google Latitude could also help you recover a lost cell phone if lost or stolen. While most wireless carriers already provide such measures, you could log into your PC and know exactly where your phone is. I don’t know how many times I wish this app was available when I lost my phone, and I lose them all the time.
Most of the Google Latitude supported mobile phones include Android G1 devices with Maps v3.0 or above, RIM BlackBerry mobile devices, a device running Windows Mobile 5.0 or higher with cell-ID location, and most Symbian S60 devices. Google indicated that other mobile phones will be supported including the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch, as well as Sony Ericsson devices.