It wasn’t just a free HTC Magic that Google had to offer attendees at Day One of the Google I/O conference in San Francisco. The web developers and junket-loving bloggers in attendance were offered a preview of the long-awaited iPhone version of the Latitude location-sharing service. Already available for most other platforms, the iPhone version has been mysteriously absent until now.
Surprisingly, Google has chosen to make Latitude for iPhone a browser-based service, as opposed to a dedicated app. The forthcoming iPhone 3.0 firmware will allow the phone’s browser to access location data, making this possible for the first time. Making the service web-based is actually a pretty smart move. It allows Google to push new features out to users with a simple update of the web page. Users on platforms like S60 and Blackberry will have to download updated software to access new features.
iPhone users will be able to start sharing their location with friends, family and stalkers when the iPhone 3.0 software is released this summer.