One of Helio’s more interesting mobile apps was Buddy Beacon, which eventually got spun off into its own endeavour and promised friend-locating services for all. For one reason or another, that doesn’t seem to have transpired; now Google have stepped in with Google Latitude, a GPS-enabled app for multiple platforms which not only shares your own location with friends and displays theirs, but allows you to initiate calls, emails and IM conversations direct from the app itself.
Video demo of Google Latitude after the cut
Since there are going to be people in your contacts list that you might not want tracking you down, there are a variety of privacy settings available. At the broadest you can shut Latitude off or enter a fake location; at its most specific, you can set privacy levels on a per-contact basis. It’s also possible to only show location details to the city level. Latitude can figure out location via nearby WiFi routers, cell towers or true PS, with varying levels of accuracy.
Right now the free app is available in around 27 different countries on a variety of mobile devices: Android-based handsets such as the T-Mobile G1, most color BlackBerry smartphones, most Windows Mobile 5.0 and above devices, and most Symbian S60 handsets. iPhone and iPod touch clients are coming soon, as are versions for many Sony Ericsson devices. More details on compatibility here; there’s also an iGoogle plugin available for desktop users.
[via Android Community]