Google announced it was retiring their location service – Google Latitude on the 9th August. For those who don’t know, Google Latitude allowed you to track the location of your family and friends (after they had agreed!). I use it a fair bit socially, to see if any of my friends are nearby for a drink, or to see where abouts they are when I’m due to be meeting up. I think I’ve got over 20 friends and family sharing location with me, and it’s a service I use most days. The new Google Maps app has had Latitude removed from it, so if you’ve updated in the last few days, it’s gone for you already – although still available via the web here.
Although Google are killing it off, it HAS been replaced, it’s now within the Google+ App under the ‘Locations’ tab. It generally works in a similar fashion, although annoyingly it doesn’t tell you how recent the location update was made and it doesn’t feel as refined as its older brother. I imagine it will improve in time, but for now, it’s better than nothing.
The problem is with Latitude being killed off is that there is no way to transfer your friends list from one service to the other, you have to manually re-add people (and they HAVE to have a G+ profile). This is a bit of a ball ache because not everyone will know that the service is going, and not everyone will want to use Google+, or will be arsed about setting it up. Setting it up isn’t too tricky, you just have to go HERE and scroll right down to ‘Location Settings’
You need to tick ‘Enable Location Sharing’ and then you need to alter who can see your best available location. You can either add these by Circles, so I’ve got my Family and Friends Circles added, but not my ‘Acquaintances’, or you can just add individual people (but they have to be on Google+). Then when you go in the Google+ App on your phone if they’ve shared back with you, you should automatically see their location.
It’s a pain in the arse but the think behind it is obviously to get the ‘social’ part of their Maps App into their social network, Google+. Although the implementation is a little half arsed, and it’s not as good, yet, it really is better than nothing! 🙂