On the 10th July 2013 Google very kindly sent me an email informing me that they will be removing latitude from Google maps and shutting down the project. Only allowing location sharing via G+. Now I am not a big latitude user, in fact I just share with my dad and him with me. It is just a fun way of letting my parents know where I am. Occasionally if I am heading to meet someone I will share my location data so they can track my progress. And of course my fiancee is in the list of my latitude contacts. That said her Iphone has never really let her use latitude properly.
With all this said and done I was happy to share my location data with Google because I was getting something out of it. But yet again Google is going all in for the G+ and killing off duplication in other products. Which is rather unfortunate since the location function in G+ is not as good.
So what does this mean?
Do me and my dad move to G+ for location info? This forces my dad on to G+ if we want to share location info. That is not ideal. So what other products are there out there than can be used to replace latitude? I was going to write a long and informative list but after carefully reviewing the landscape I came up with very little.
Well that is dead before we start after using waze for a while I gave my dad my account and I can not be bothered to rejoin. That said Google is trying to buy it (or has bought it pending monopoly and merger investigation?) and so that will probably get shutdown in the near future also. So let’s skip waze.
Erm, with Waze skipped that is it. Basically any Android apps I can think of that let you do location sharing all rely on some sort of social media function, Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare, etc. Which I don’t want to force anyone to join nor in many cases do I want to be a part of.
In short I don’t really have an answer. I know now I’m going to have to find a tracking app probably security related so I can track my phone in case I leave it at home when I go to work. Just so I know where I left the handset! Of course in the event it gets stolen be able to track it down is a useful feature. It is kind of ironic that latitude was free and let you track your phone from your PC where as the Apple lot had to pay for that service. Now Google got us all hooked and embedded with Android they pull the free service and Apple now gives it away for free. Smug face removed!