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Google Sneaks Check-in Point System and Leaderboard Into Latitude


Google Maps received an update last week that was supposed to improve battery life while using Latitude, only that’s not all that came with it. If you use the location and check-in service in Maps, you will notice that after a check-in, you are awarded points and a fancy animated leaderboard appears. From there, you can tap to see a full leaderboard that shows an all-time list, current week, and even last week. This new social check-in addition pulls from your Google+ Circles to let you compete with your friends or the world for that matter, similarly to what Foursquare offers.

Google has yet to officially mention that the service exists and has simply posted a brief 1 sentence section in their Maps support section. I’m sure we’ll see more before long.

My question is, does anyone actually use Latitude? I have always been intrigued by the idea of it, however, it’s difficult to find anyone that even knows what it is or how to use it.

Via:  Engadget, Google Support

  • Mrsimps71

    We use it all the time.

  • jdrch

    I use it only so a friend of mine can see where I am at all times as an inside joke.

  • knoeta

    I like to use it when we are travelling in our Trek motorhome. Recently we drove from San Diego to Key West. Our seven and eight year old grandkids were able to follow our progress across the country.

  • Kamesen

    Cascade!! How is Pater?? I could be convinced to ship up some limited Bruery stuff… 😉

  • Alan Wolfe

    I use it so my wife can keep tabs on me when I am traveling.  Saves having to call just to let her know I have arrived, or eating, or at the track…..

  • A buddy of mine found his stolen phone because latitude was still running.

  • I use Latitude. It’s pretty useful knowing where your friends are.

    I wish we had this back when I was in the uni. No one would’ve spammed everyone with “where the hell did Pettanko go, her phone isn’t reachable” when I went to a concert or something like that…

  • b00ky

    To add to what some others have already mentioned… My friends and I (and my Wife) do use it, but much more casually. I very rarely actually check-in, but we use it all the time when we are all traveling to visit each. It is very convenient for knowing when someone might be arriving without having to call/text them. For my wife and I, it is nice to be able to know where each other are – especially if one of us ever had an accident or something. Definitely not a required app or tool, but we all seem to enjoy using it.

    I think my friends and I do tend to check-in more often now that we use G+ because that just seems to make more sense when there is a post or picture to go along with it.

    As for battery drain… I would say it doesn’t drain my battery much, but I have always used it since my D1, then D2 and now my Gnex. Either way, I just charge my phone in the car or at my desk and I rarely worry about that.

    • You make a great point here.

      My uncle and aunt use Latitude and this really, really helps with driving safety. My aunt doesn’t have to call her husband while he’s driving to ask where the hell is he and why is he late, she can just check the map.

      • b00ky

        Thanks. I can’t say that it gets used daily, but I like knowing that it is available. The other thing I notice is that between people having it on Android and also on iOS you tend to see that a lot of people’s locations go ‘stale”. I think that sometimes updates to the app inadvertently log people out of Latitude or maybe some people just use it manually which makes it kind of pointless. I like that I can share my location with exclusive groups and that it isn’t public to the world.

        The location history is kind of cool as well. There are some interesting statistics on that page and it is kind of crazy to see where you have been in the last week or month.

  • ss472

    I checkin all the time, I use the service as a history to myself of places I have been. 

  • Jason Frasier

    My wife and I use latitude all the time.  In fact it came in handy recently when she and the kids were in a car accident and I used it to help find where she was to come and get them.  Never anticipated needing to use it for that but was glad to have it at that moment.

  • Eric Callahan

    This is great.  My wife and I use it all the time for things like figuring out how far along in the commute the other is so we know when to have dinner ready, when to expect the other one home etc.

    As for those who don’t get the check-in aspect, I think it’s more for gamification than anything else, as who doesn’t want to see themselves at the top of a leaderboard?

    I hope they release an API for this so it can get integrated into these one stop check-in services like Path (and what Gowalla was before it sucked.)

  • Looollool

    used to use latitude for fun but it just destroys your battery

  • Eric Richardson

    MAH BLURRED OUT FACE IS ON DROID-LIFE! Does that make me famous? 

    • Shane McKeever

      Infamous more like

    • Kyon gets VIP treatment, his face is intact!

  • Shane McKeever

    So I guess I should go to Cascade Brewing Barrel House next time I am in Portland? 

  • DJyoSNOW

    Ill stick to FourSquare…

  • Maybe I’m just getting old but am I the only one who doesn’t get the “have to let everyone know where I am and what I’m thinking all the time” thing that seems to be getting more and more common?  I already have facebook friends who update me on what they’re having for lunch every day, do I need to know where you are all the time too?

  • Mike Zaitchik

    I use it with my friends.  It’s pretty much just a way to eliminate the ‘yo, where are you?’ text messages.  If you don’t want someone to know where you are, don’t share your location with them.

  • Anonymous

    Every time I see my friend “check in” somewhere I always want to comment, “Well, time to go rob your house!”

    • Anonymous

      I’m with you.  I can understand checking in to somewhere unique, but I saw a friend “Check In” to the Florida Turnpike while driving home from Disney World.  WTF?  Who cares if you’re on the Turnpike.

    • ss472

      You would rob your friends house??
      Nice friend

  • Anonymous

    Some friends and I used it for a bachelor party weekend on Bourbon St.

  • I do use it, mainly to see if friends are at work so I know if I can bother them or not.  Also, my family travels alot, so it’s fun to keep track of where they are and what they’re doing.  Myself on the other hand live a pretty boring life, so I don’t care if my friends see where I’m going or what I’m doing.

  • Anonymous

    I use it extensively–however, the people I know that used to use it actively as well seem to have stopped, as most of my friends are listed as “stale location.”

    I wonder if better Google+ integration would help revive things. I really wish people would use this more. These location services need better inter-operability. When iOS 5 hit, many of my friends switched to “Find my Friends” because it was made by Apple. And of course, Apple would never allow themselves to work with other services. 😛

  • I don’t know much about Latitude, but I know it has something to do with letting everyone know where I am so I want no part of it.

    What I don’t know is who can see your location and whether it’s real time or only when you “check-in”.

    • Eric Callahan

      You choose in the settings who you allow to see your location.  It will track you whenever your device has service, not just when you check-in, but only for the people you choose to share with.

  • Anonymous

    I use latitude all the time to see where my girlfriend is–not out of mistrust or anything. I just like to be able to check that she made it home okay or see how far away she is if we’re meeting somewhere.

    • Raven

      Same here.  My wife and I can see each other on Latitude, no one else.  Comes in handy quite often.  I have set up a few auto-checkins just for fun and because I can.  If I had to manually check in every time to use it, I would never bother.