Google’s location-aware mobile social app Latitude is now finally available for users to download on the iPhone, after it had previously been rejected from the App Store.
The app, which is available for the 3GS and iPhone 4, works by letting you see where all your friends are via a social GPS tracking platform. Your GPS location is shared with all your friends, in exchange for their location information, and it allows you to see a map showing where everyone is. Other users, obviously, must also have Latitude installed and running on their phones as well.
The app was first announced in the beginning of 2009, but when Google submitted it to Apple for review, it was rejected. Apple came up with a BS excuse, saying it could create confusion among consumers over the iPhone’s built-in map application. One of the App Store’s original qualifications was that apps could not be direct copies of existing, pre-loaded iPhone apps. Latitude didn’t even fit that, but Apple used it as a way to prevent the app from seeing the light of day.
Of course, in the mobile world, Apple and Google are mortal enemies.
But lo and behold, it looks like Apple has softened up a bit, because it doesn’t appear that Google changed the app in any way. However, Apple has now approved the app and it’s available a free download in the App Store.
Google had already released a workaround, a Web-based version of the app for iPhone users to connect to. But a dedicated app makes it much easier to encourage friends and family members to install it and create that big network of GPS-sharing users you can track.