10
Jul
licon

If you eagerly updated your Android device to the shiny new version of Google Maps yesterday, only to despair at the absence of Google's Latitude location tracking/sharing service, there's a good reason for that. Latitude is going the way of Google Reader, and the service will disappear completely on August 9th. Google has made the change official on the "About Latitude" page of the Maps for mobile support hub, explaining that Latitude for iPhone, the Latitude API, and the various web services will be retired as well. You've got just under a month to say your goodbyes.

latitude

Google hasn't technically said so, but Latitude appears to be the latest service casualty to fall to the company's expanding focus on Google+. The latest version of Google+ for Android includes the ability to check in to locations and share current locations in new posts, and the functionality will be coming to the iOS app before too long. Those who want more up-to-the minute location data from consenting friends and family appear to be without an option starting in August, at least within the sphere of Google services.

Here's the relevant text from Google's blog post on the Maps update:

One important change you should know about is that Latitude and check-ins are no longer part of the new Google Maps app, and will be retired from older versions on August 9. We understand some of you still want to see your friends and family on a map, which is why we've added location sharing and check-ins to Google+ for Android (coming soon to iOS). More details about Latitude and check-in changes can be found in our help center.

There are no official usage numbers for Google Latitude, but we get the impression that its user base has been slipping for the last couple of years. That isn't to say that no one is using it - there's someone that cares about every service, after all - but Google+ really is a better solution for regular users. It's a shame that we have to say goodbye to the more map-specific portion of Latitude; I know at least one family that uses it as an emergency child tracker.

Source: Google Maps for Mobile Support via Andy Snelson

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • navjot

    This would be fine if the Google Plus location tab didn't just show me a gray map every time I try using it.

  • Ryan Stewart

    Haven't played with the G+ version but the always on nature of latitude is great for the family.

  • Rob

    I like the g+ version. But why is it only on the mobile version?

    • Thomas’

      Yeah, this bothers me most, too.

    • Leif Sikorski

      When someone shares his location you can go to his G+ profile in the web and click the location button. There you can see his location as well. But there should be a map in G+ where you can see all of your friends who share a location at once - I agree.

  • Reyes Cedeño

    The official usage numbers for Google Latitude doesnt matter for big G, ask GReader users

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Ouch, but true.

  • Mike

    RIP Google Latitude - I've been a user since it was released. My girlfriend and I use it since it is cross platform to know when to expect each other dinner etc...

    • tom

      Exactly the same for me

  • Ran

    G+ has an option for location sharing on your profile, so it can replace latitude completely.

    • Andy_in_Indy

      Location sharing in G+ has not been automatic (you must select a location to check in, not just share your Longitude and Latitude), and it is not as easy to see the relative locations of several people or simple to navigate to a location . I use latitude and Backtitude for a "family locator" and it is easier to use, more accurate, less obtrusive, and less drain on the battery than any other locator.

      • Leif Sikorski

        It shares the location automatically. There is an option in the settings which they've added a few weeks (or months?) ago.

      • RedPandaAlex

        The new version from right after I/O has automatic location sharing in the app.

    • CoolRaoul

      I do not think location sharing option being available on the web/desktop version of Google+
      Only on Android version
      So what's the alternative to latitude when not on a mobile device?

      • Jose Niño

        Also what about iOS users?
        I don't see that in the iOS version of Google Plus, I just see the check-in option.

  • Omar Al Matar

    MY LOCATION HISTORY...SEEING PEOPLE RIGHT IN GOOGLE MAPS...NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

    They should add the layer "G+ Users" In google maps at least :(

    • Thomas’

      They should add layers in the first place.

      • akshay7394

        They're there, just not called layers I guess. I mean there's Satellite and Traffic and so on, but they're just not under the category of layers.

  • Mircury119

    Ya, I'm a big Latitude user so this sucks. Ironically I was a big greader person too. This wouldn't be as bad if 1. It worked on the desktop. 2. It worked on IOS because some of my friends/family have iphones.

  • Oliver Lienhard

    Does some one know how to check in at places like work/home or others?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002913094665 Vitaly Gurevich

    It kills battery like crazy... good job Google.

    • RipRap

      Ever heard of turning it off? Stupidsky.

  • nickdn

    Now i'll never make it to the moon!!

    • Chandradithya Raja P

      Just read their FAQ page on the latitude retirement and this is what it says

      "If you use Location Reporting and have Location History enabled, your location data will continue to be recorded to your Location History. You can view and manage Location History data on the Location History dashboard"

      To infinity and beyond!

      • nickdn

        Woohoo

        Ground control to major tom

    • http://GPlus.to/Abhisshack Abhisshack

      hAHAHHAHAHAHAHA

  • Aaron Jaeger

    The Google+ "location in profile" works well enough for me - not that I have many people using it with me. It updates automatically. I just checked.

  • Leif Sikorski

    I like the change and it was necessary. The settings of the old maps app was a mess and it was a good step to split it up. Mapping features and Navigation in the Maps app, social features in G+. It's also easier to use because most Google Users will have their people already in circles.

    • Jason Rittenhouse

      But the map portion on Latitude was the only part of Latitude I cared about. I liked the ability to check and see how far away from a get-together my friends were.

  • http://gameluv.com/ Shawn S

    So this is where Waze comes in right? It'll either be added to Maps as a replacement for Latitude or suggested as the replacement?

  • Owen Finn

    I really liked using it to track my location WITHOUT sharing it with the world. That way I could remember when I went to a certain store or restaurant on what day of the week, etc.

    • Simon Belmont

      This! I'm sort of disappointed this is going the way of the dinosaur.

      Google keeps pushing its G+ agenda. Awesome!

    • http://benignthoughts.com/ Louis C.

      Location History is still a thing. They're just shutting down Latitude.

  • Simon Belmont

    I used this pretty extensively for family and friend locators. Especially if we were on vacation somewhere unfamiliar.

    How good is Google+ at replacing this? Is there a lot of battery drain?

    • RedPandaAlex

      It's pretty much the same. I haven't noticed a difference as far as battery, but I'd imagine G+ uses the new location APIs they talked about at I/O so it should use less resources and update faster.

    • Spirit

      Google+ is so cluttered it's unusable. Last month tracked family traveling in Spain on Latitude. Google is shooting itself in the head IMO...

  • nickdn

    Is there a good alternative? Mainly use it for family.

    • RedPandaAlex

      Google+ locations

      • nickdn

        I really like that there is/was a separate app for latitude . My parents arent that tech savy.

    • charlie kubal

      We've been working on an application, Chronos, that connects with Latitude to import and visualize your data:https://www.getchronos.com/latitude We've got an iOS app and going forward will offer Android users the ability to collect data ongoing, too, to replicate and extend the functionality of Latitude.

    • http://twitter.com/tymathews Tyler

      hi nckdn-- if you're interested i'm building a lightweight app to share location. It's called Yougy (http://yougy.co). Currently looking for beta testers, too.

  • Syje

    Those of you looking for a replacement, try Glympse. It works outside Google Maps but is still pretty solidly reliable. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.glympse.android.glympse

  • Dreamcasting

    G+ Locations in the mobile app, for practical purposes IS now Latitude. Does the same thing. Google just sucks at using plain English.

  • Matthew Fry

    I personally don't like Latitude and have never used it. It's just been a thing I disable and hide every time I get a new device/rom/update. However, as a person who has had issues with Google in the past (see: Nexus 10, Reader, etc.) I am disappointed they have no transition information for users.

  • Asphyx

    It would appear to me that Google is in full INTEGRATION mode these days.

    The Babel (Hangouts) idea and G+.

    It actually makes some sense to an extent. G+ used to set social connections that can be used in Hangouts and GMaps.

    It was pretty ridiculous to have 3 Comm programs and 2 or 3 map programs when it could all be incorporated into one program.

    Whats more the better they do at this the less you will need a dedicated Voice service and can get away with merely a data account. Lets hope the carriers accept that and turn their entire network to be a Data service and ease the pricing. (I won't hold my breath there!)

  • Kellic

    >:( The level of pissed off I am over this can not be measured. This is no different then MS dropping the Start Menu to push Metro app development. Its a douche move throwing a userbase under the bus all because they are trying to push users to move to another more critical market....in this case Google +

    • charlie kubal

      @Kellic:disqus if it's any solace, we're developing something to get insight from Latitude data (we allow imports) and then collecting data ongoing. We're on iOS now and launching the Latitude integration soon here: https://www.getchronos.com/latitude

  • tom

    I love using Latitude and use it to check where my friends and family are reguarly. Gonna be sorely missed but am sure the google+ option witll be just as good.

  • tom

    Go to Google+ settings and the option for location sharing is there. You can share your location constantly just like latitude by granting permission to various circles and them doing like wise...like your family circle, friend cirlce etc.....RIP latitude

    • eighmie

      But then you have to use google plus and no one I know uses it, pointless rasterbating on the part of google, why fix something that ain't broke.

  • charlie kubal

    For anyone bummed about Latitude, wanted to chime in and offer an alternative -- we've been working on an application, Chronos, that connects with Latitude to import and visualize your data: https://www.getchronos.com/latitude

    We've got an iOS app and going forward will offer Android users the ability to collect data ongoing, too, to replicate and extend the functionality of Latitude.

    • RipRap

      Ty Charles. Please hurry with the Android app.

  • google+ stinks

    can I join google+ anonymously yet, or do I still have to share my personal information with the world?

  • Wayne Randall

    great! what's next GVoice too? soon Google will be back to square 1; email and search.. only this time "search" encompasses everything about you and what you have internetly discovered.

  • BobJohnson

    "Those who want more up-to-the minute location data from consenting friends and family appear to be without an option starting in August, at least within the sphere of Google services." - WRONG!

    Google+ does have "up to minute" current location sharing... go into the settings and set up the circle, individual, or comma separated list of people you want to share your location with. Then enable location reporting on your device.

    Note: This feature isn't anywhere near as useful, accurate, or informative as the original Google Latitude but it does what it's supposed to.

  • Ryan Stewart

    Does locations in Google+ work for anyone? My girlfriend and I are sharing locations with each other but when you go into locations it says "no one is on your map" despite it being shared across all users in my apps domain

    • dropkick

      I was okay with it moving too g+, but it's just not working for me and my daughter, we're both getting the same message. Really annoyed, I haven't found a suitable replacement yet. It was extremely useful for us!

      • Ryan Stewart

        Ours as started playing along now that she is on the new Google Maps as well. Another thing that sucks about it being in Google+ is it doesnt give you a timer on when it was updated so you dont know if the location data is stale.

        Latitude was about perfect, really came in handy when the 'rents had a breakdown in a city that neither of us were familiar with.

  • Anish

    I can see Google going back to the 90's soon enough.
    Everything is going to G+. No Google, we don't want to be forced into G+ each time we want to send a ping (Gtalk) or see someone's location. Location is related to maps. Why change that shit?
    Tomorrow I guess Google will just keep ONE app (G+). Search will also need a G+ sign-in. Idiots pushing a faithful userbase under a bus if the users don't buy into G+.

  • Fact

    Never used it.

  • eighmie

    Now you know two families that use it to track their child. Thanks for breaking something that wasn't broken in the first place Google, oh and the new maps program was slooooooooooow and stupid I uninstalled the update, and won't be updating that program at all. It was impossible to use.

  • Dave Schreiber

    too many controlling significant others used this feature to make their loved ones life hell. You all can skirt around the topic all you want, but that, my friends, is the honest truth. So, thank you all you freaky, insecure bastards out there.
    dave

  • blackattack

    Google+ plus replacement is rubbish so i deleted
    Google+ too. waiting for a better replacement