updated 05:10 pm EDT, Fri May 28, 2010
Google may see if Apple approves Latitude on 4.0
Google may make another attempt at a native port of Latitude now that iPhone 4.0 is about to be released, senior product manager Steve Lee said today. He mentioned that Google was "evaluating" Latitude for the new mobile OS. The developer didn't "anything to announce just yet" but was careful in conversation with TechCrunch not to rule out a native app.
A true native app would provide a significant improvement for the functionality of the friend finding service, as it would give iPhone users a constantly updating position as long as Latitude was enabled. The current implementation needs HTML5 and can only get its position as long as the browser is open and active. Android phones and other operating systems can already keep Latitude updated in the background.
Whether or not Apple would accept the app isn't apparent. An iPhone 3.0 native app had been submitted by was rejected last summer for allegedly being too close to the iPhone's regular Maps app. Google may find difficulty differentiating a single-purpose app or getting the feature included in Google Mobile app, especially as Apple's feud with Google over Android may give it competitive incentives to keep Google away.