When Google updated Maps earlier this summer, Latitude was no where to be found. It turned out that the days of Google's location tracking and sharing service were over. We suspect that Latitude is another victim of Google+, which introduced the ability to check into locations and share current locations in new posts not long before Google announced that it was retiring Latitude. Today is the last day to export your data from the service, so hop on it if you want to maintain access to this data.
Just yesterday, Google posted to its Android blog about Android Device Manager – a tool that will help Android users keep their phones and data safe by offering location and remote wiping/locking features that third party solutions have until now been filling in for.
This morning, users started reporting that the service was rolling out to their devices already. Indeed, Android Device Manager is getting introduced by way of Google Play Services version 3.2.25, but it's not complete just yet.
Android 4.3 has a hidden feature! It's called "App Ops" and it lets you selectively disable some permissions for your apps. Is some misbehaving app constantly pinging your location and draining your battery in a few hours? You can fix that now.
I'm working on my full 4.3 teardown, but I just ran across this and had to add it here:
<string name="grant_confirm_question">Do you want to grant the following permissions?
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.
After a few months of testing, Sony has announced its my Xperia service will be hitting all regions in the next few weeks. This system will provide remote management of 2012 and 2013 Xperia devices. Smartphones are expensive – it's nice of Sony to help you keep track of it.
Once it is deployed in your country, my Xperia will come in the form of a new app that can be enabled in settings.
Foursquare is a neat way to keep your friends appraised of your location and activities, as is the custom in this day and age. With the help of Samsung, you can now see all your Foursquare check-ins through a living timeline called Time Machine. Even if you don't have a Foursquare account, check out the demo. It's really cool.
Time Machine is an aerial view of your check-ins laid out chronologically.
Update 2: Llama has been returned to the Play Store this morning as promised, listed as version 1.2012.12.29.1412. As for the pesky silent mode/vibrate bug? This version's changelog indicates that it is "hopefully fixed."
Update: It looks like KebabApps has pulled Llama from the Play Store while the developer sorts out "a pain-in-the-butt problem involving silent mode," in which the app can – for some users – switch what should be silent mode to vibrate mode.
We all have that one friend – you know the one. Always running a little late, and everyone has to wait for him or her to show up. Well, now that Twist is on Android, you can find out in real time how much longer you're going to be standing around. It's like putting one of those radio tracker animal collars on your friends.
Twist uses GPS and cell tower location to accurately determine how long it will take you to arrive at an appointment.
If you're like me, you like to know things about your location. Sure, most of the crap you want to know is trivial, but it's still fun -- and that's basically the entire idea behind a very cool new app called Sitegeist. In a nutshell, this app gives you all sorts of different info about your current location, including:
- Average age and sex of the town's residents
- Average number of children per household
- Average income and political contributions
- Weather - current conditions, average temps, record temps
- Fun things to do
- Median age of homes, median home value, and average rent
- ...and more
Not only does the app provide some really useful information, but it looks damn good doing it.