Please note Google Latitude was retired on August 9th, 2013. You can no longer see Latitude for iPhone or Android. Google’s replacement is the app Trusted Contacts which pretty much does the same things and more.
If the whole family has Android and you don’t mind putting up with installing, configuring and playing with Google Latitude app and it’s supporting apps to get the best possible phone tracking abilities with best possible location accuracy, Google Latitude may be right for you. However, if you are looking for convenience and ease of use across all platforms, look elsewhere.
Google Latitude is an application developed by Google which can help you locate your friends and family. The basic idea around which this app had been developed was based on many other location sharing mobile apps available at that time. There can be a number of different purposes for which you may want to use Google Latitude. In a modern and well connected world with smartphones available to all, we are more connected to our friends and family members for better safety, accessibility, and time saving. Google Latitude, a simple cell phone tracking application, is just aimed to help you give you answers to the questions “Where is my friend right now? Have my kids arrived to school? etc.”.
Accuracy of the location tracking apps has always been a serious cause of concern. One thing that we always tend to forget is dependence of a cell phone tracking app’s accuracy on the smartphone’s GPS system. Some phones do not come with accurate GPS systems which can result in approximate locations shared. A low quality phone is nothing to blame for inaccuracy of Google Latitude. However, when you are running Google Latitude as a background service, it drops into lower precision mode, thus compromising on the accuracy of the location shared. Also, don’t forget that GPS doesn’t work so well indoors or in poor weather conditions, but evade that Google Latitude may use some time Wi-Fi access points and cell tower data to get the location.
Ever since the launch of Google Latitude, it has been improved a lot. The availability of Google Latitude has also been ensured on all smartphones running various mobile operating systems like iOS, Android, and Blackberry etc. In other words you can track your friends or familys phones, whether they have iPhone, Blackberry, Android (any Android) or even some Nokia phones. There are no guarantees that it will work with all phones, but as long as you can get the app installed on the phone you want to track and it has a GPS, it should work. Bear in mind, if you want optimal location tracking, it is preferable that those who you want to track have the latest Android phones. This is the majord advantage of Google.
Ease of use
Google has always been known for offering simple to understand Google Maps. Therefore, Google Latitude is no exception to that rule. The screen of the app is very much self explanatory without the need to go through a lot of hassle. There are a lot of shoddy cell phone tracking apps that become very slow once you are sharing your own location data and simultaneously receiving data of your friends. However, Google Latitude does not seem to be bogged down by this problem and the app works just fine even when you are have large chunks of location data exchanged.
The screenshots below will give you a better idea of how things will shape up once you use Google Latitude on your smartphone.
This is how your friends will look on the map once you are getting their information.
The screen allows you to select with whom you want your location to be shared.
You can check in to see where your friends have gone to by just looking at the historical map location data.
The design element is hinging on simplicity. All the maps are cleanly laid out so you do not have any problem seeing your friends’ locations. The good thing is that even if you have too many friends on your radar, you will still be able to get hold of their locations, without messing up. The setup for privacy is also not jumbled up to make things really simple. The setup options are pretty easy to understand without any sophistication involved. I would say Apple’s Find my Friends app has a slightly better design, and no wonder why, it’s Apple – but Google Latitude is good enough with it’s simple interface.
Privacy is one of the main concerns in downloading a location tracking mobile app. Google has provided enough privacy controls to ensure that you only share that much privacy with the users which is necessarily required. You can set your location to city wide to ensure that your friends do not know your exact location but your proximate availability in a particular city. You can also choose to block background updates; this will help you save battery life. Lastly, you can also choose not to share your location with anyone at all.
As of now, Google Latitude is free to use.
The app is free so there are supposed to be no refunds. As for the guarantees, you can see the terms and conditions that we always agree to once we use to any application or software.