Google Latitude: Where Are Your Friends?

Also curious where your friends hang out? Did you only hear afterwards that you were close to each other? Then a smartphone with internet access and Google Latitude is the solution. You can see exactly who is where and if you have an appointment, you can see live how everyone is approaching the agreed point. Are you in a traffic jam? Without a hastily typed text message, the home front will know that you are delayed.

1. The right version

Latitude is a service that you use via Google Maps on a smartphone. To determine your position, the telephone network, WiFi, GPS or a combination is used. So even if your smartphone does not have GPS, your position can often still be determined, although it will be slightly less accurate. Because there are all kinds of smartphones, it is wise to visit and see if yours is included under the heading Does it also work on my phone. Latitude only works from version three of Google Maps and you can get the version number by starting the program and going to Options / Help / About . If you have an outdated version, the most recent version for your phone can be found at // As mentioned, Latitude does not yet work on every smartphone. Requirements can also be imposed on the telephone software (firmware). If you come across the text Sign in to Latitude in Google Maps under Options, then you're in the right place. On an iPhone, Latitude can only be used as a web application in Safari.

With this option in the main menu you are good, then Google Latitude is available on your device.

2. Add friends

Once a suitable version of Google Maps is installed on your phone, log in to the service via Options / Sign In to Latitude by entering your Google account username and password. Registering separately for Latitude is therefore not necessary. From then on you can share your location with others. Who can see it is entirely up to you. Via Options / Latitude you will see an overview list in the Friends tab. You can add people using the Add Friends shortcut. You can add people directly from the Google Mail address book, or send an invitation to someone's email address. Once the other person accepts your invitation, it would be nice if you also get permission to see your friend's position. As soon as you select a person from the list, a window opens with more details. At the bottom you will find Sharing Options. Here you specify how accurately your position may be communicated to this person: most accurate, city level, or hide.

On the Friends tab, you add people who can see your location.

3. Share location or not

If you go to the Privacy tab via Options / Latitude, you indicate under Location sharing whether your position may be determined automatically. You may also manually designate a location, for example if it does not work automatically on your device. The third option hides your location from the entire friends list and the shortcut at the bottom disables Latitude altogether. The friends list will remain and you will re-enable Latitude by logging in.

Have you chosen automatic updating? Then your position will be updated regularly as long as Latitude is active. Even if you push Google Maps to the background, if your device supports this. If you stop Google Maps, you will be asked if you want to continue sharing your location. Latitude continues to run invisibly in the background if you allow it. If you also want to stop Latitude afterwards, restart Google Maps and then close both. In addition to a smartphone, the gadget 'Google Latitude' from iGoogle ( can also be seen on a regular computer where you and your friends are hanging out.

Automatically update your location, enter it manually, or disable it (temporarily).

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