Google Latitude is a location based service for Smartphones which lets you share your location as well as see where your friends are.Weirdly, Google hasn’t bothered updating their iPhone app with support for Google latitude updating in the background. This issue with no background updating got a lot of hype back in the days as Apple’s iOS didn’t have support for multitasking back then. For all you location addicts, there’s a solution called PlaceTrack available now for jailbroken iPhones. It lets you keep your Google Latitude location up to date without having to open the app. It also lets you stalk your friends on Google Latitude.
Google Latitude has a battery friendly background mode in which it uses cell towers to map your location. It also has support for Facebook status updates so you can bug your friends on your location repeatedly.
- keeps Google Latitude up-to-date with your exact location: install the app, authenticate, enable background, quit and forget about it!
- check out where your contacts are (thumbnails are shown on map or list view) once you confirm each other as friends
- optional location history and KML export: you may export past locations by email as a KML file and see them on a Google Map or using Google Earth
- Facebook support: update your Facebook wall with location data, a map and an optional text
- battery friendly background mode: the application suspends on exit and is woken up only when you move significantly (detected using cell towers signal); most of the time it just sleeps and the GPS hardware is powered off to preserve battery
- automatic relaunch: if the application gets killed for whatever reason (eg, after a power cycle) and background mode was enabled, the application is automatically relaunched in the background on the first location change event
- location by email: send your current postal mail address along with gps coordinates and a small street map and a “directions” link. If your receipient uses an iPhone, the “directions” link launches the Maps application (on desktops it opens the Google maps website with your current coordinates)
- fake location support: you can disable GPS usage completely and input a fake place name to be used as your location. When you enter a fake location, background mode is temporarily disabled.
- uses the new iOS4.0 multitasking features on supported phone models (3GS and up)
- security: your Google credentials are securely transmitted from your iPhone directly to Google and never sent to our or any third party servers
- a settings page lets you tune most configurable parameters (gps accuracy, timeouts, local notifications, etc.)
- your current location (address and gps coordinates) with altitude and speed (if available) are always displayed on the application main screen and included in Facebook status updates
- the application may send local notification on particular events (location changes, network failures, authentication errors): you can set a notification threshold for the error severity level or turn off notifications completely
- find your iPhone easily: keep the background mode enabled and locate your iPhone through Latitude in case it gets lost or stolen! The application still runs after a phone reboot or power cycle, and updates your iPhone location
- on device with iOS4 < 4 the application still runs without background support
It’s a highly customizable app which a huge list of features. The only thing that seems to be missing is Foursquare support.
To use PlaceTrack you need a jailbroken iPhone. Read more on how to jailbreak it using JailbreakMe.
PlaceTrack is available in Cydia for $1.99