Latitude For iPhone Earns Boos From Bloggers (But Maybe That's The Point)
The result is that this version of Latitude does not automatically update a user's location as it would on alternative phones and mobile operating systems such as Android, BlackBerry, Symbian and Windows Mobile. Google admitted as much in announcing the Latitude app Thursday, noting that apps can't run continuously in the background on the iPhone.
The company explained that it went with a Web app because Apple was concerned that users might confuse Latitude with its Maps application for the iPhone. That excuse didn't seem to satisfy the tech blogosphere, which was ablaze with complaints and criticisms over the move on Friday. "Toothless," "lame," and "crippled" were among the words used to describe Latitude on the iPhone.
"OK, I won't junk my iPhone over this, but my love is diminished. And maybe my anger shouldn't be directed at Apple. Perhaps, Latitude generates enough network traffic that AT&T put the kibosh on it," vented David Coursey, who writes the Tech Inciter blog for PC World.
Eric Zeman, who pens Information Week's Over the Air blog, blamed both Google and Apple for failing in regard to the Latitude app. "In my tests of (Latitude), it wasn't nearly as accurate as the iPhone's GPS can be. Actual location results were typically off by a mile (pun intended)," he wrote.
He and other tech bloggers suggested that the feature simply be incorporated into the Maps app on the iPhone so it would be more useful in providing location data.
Gizmodo's Matt Buchanan chimed in: "There's no way anybody's going to use Latitude on the iPhone if it's not built into the Maps application like it is on Android," he wrote. "Besides, if it's inside of Maps, how is that going to confuse anybody? Unless we're all really, really dumb."
If the iPhone's hobbled iPhone app ends up driving more people to Android-powered phones, it may end up being a smart move by Google after all.