Google eschews fun and games with Google Latitude revamp
Good news, Dodgeball Google Latitude fans. After a quiet stretch when we thought Google might just give up on Latitude, the longest running of all geo-location check-in services (if you count its past as Dodgeball), the search king has announced it’s not dead, but instead will be recast as a mobile app that works with Google Maps.
It’s very mobile in that it features automatic check-in and check-out when you reach a destination, plus it delivers notifications when you’re near a business worth checking out. Okay, nothing really new there. The big revamp is that it is built inside Google Maps for Android users which gives Google a crucial edge over pesky upstarts Gowalla, Foursquare and, ahem, Facebook – scale. In order for location-based check-in services to be really worthwhile they need lots of users, and, crucially, lots of people you know. Surprisingly, Google says it has that bit covered. It claims to have 10 million active monthly users (twice as much as Foursquare). Foursquare though still has one ace up its sleeve – the point-scoring gaming element, a huge draw with devotees. Google instead is pulling out the maps technology to appeal to geo-geeks. We’ll let them explain the rest: