updated 04:40 pm EST, Thu March 3, 2011
Google Maps for Android adds two-way Latitude talk
A Thursday afternoon 5.2 update to Google Maps for Android (Market) has given the app a much more social element. Latitude now finally supports interaction with others through "pings." Users can ask their friends to check in with a ping and get a notification to help find them after the check-in, such as when they've reached a local bar for a meetup.
The search firm is also hoping to push Hotpot recommendations more by adding Twitter sharing. Anyone rating a store now has the option of an automated Twitter update to show the rating and a link back to the store's Hotpot page. Check-ins also get a much requested "search more places" option to go beyond what the phone or tablet can find using GPS.
Running the update needs at least Android 1.6. Pings need both ends of the interaction to be running Google Maps 5.2. Google hasn't said if or when Latitude for iPhone will get pings and the new check-ins, but most features that aren't specific to Android typically carry over.