The PhoneBoy Blog


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Google Latitude: Why Can’t Nokia Do This?

latitude

If you haven’t seen or heard about this, Google Latitude is something that has been integrated into the latest release of Google Maps for the mobile handset. It’s an opt-in service and you can share your location with your friends. The location can either be manual, based on cell towers, or GPS. Beyond that, privacy controls about your location, and setting a “status message,” there’s not a lot to it.

Nokia Friend View does something similar to this, except you can have threaded conversations as well. I’ve written about Nokia Friend View, and I like it.

The problem with Friend View is threefold:

  • It’s only on Nokia handsets
  • It’s a separate application from Nokia’s mapping application

Google Latitude is a good thing because:

  • It’s available on a wide range of platforms–today!
  • It’s included in an application that you know how to use already and would use for other reasons (i.e. it’s not separate).

Obviously Google Latitude could benefit from:

  • Better “default” privacy settings. For example, I would like to be able to auto-update my location, but most of the time, give only city-specific information, not exact location.
  • Conversation a-la Friend View or Jaiku

This is an excellent example of an integrated services offering that works across multiple platforms. If Nokia wants to truly succeed in the services game, the services have to be launched in a similar fashion. As it is, the services are fragmented and only available for Nokia devices.

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