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Google Latitude app for iPhone finally arrives

It took 22 months and a change of heart at Apple, but Google's app for tracking friends' locations is now available.

Google Latitude for iPhone
Google Latitude for iPhone

Nearly two years after Google announced its Latitude for tracking friends' locations, the service is available as an application for iOS.

Google had promised the Latitude app would arrive on iPhones "very soon" when the service debuted in February 2009. But Apple blocked the initial plan to release a Latitude app "to avoid confusion with Maps on the iPhone," in Google's words, so Google released a Web-app version instead some months later.

Apple also blocked the native Google Voice app, and Google took the same approach of creating a Web-app version. That action helped trigger a Federal Communications Commission look at Apple's App Store approval policies, and an even frostier relationship between the two erstwhile corporate allies.

However, in September, Apple liberalized and codified its App Store rules, making it clearer what would be allowed or barred and reopening the doors to an Adobe Systems technology under which Flash-derived apps were rebuilt as native iOS apps.

The Google Voice app for iPhone arrived in November.

The free Google Latitude application, available in 27 languages, works on the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, third-generation and fourth-generation iPod Touch, and iPad.

Google Latitude iPhone app's friend list
Google Latitude iPhone app's friend list iTunes