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Google reinterprets your mobile history

If you're the kind of person who likes to trace your own footprints, you may be interested in the new experimental feature that Google introduced to organize your past locations.

Jessica Dolcourt Senior Director, Commerce & Content Operations
Jessica Dolcourt is a passionate content strategist and veteran leader of CNET coverage. As Senior Director of Commerce & Content Operations, she leads a number of teams, including Commerce, How-To and Performance Optimization. Her CNET career began in 2006, testing desktop and mobile software for Download.com and CNET, including the first iPhone and Android apps and operating systems. She continued to review, report on and write a wide range of commentary and analysis on all things phones, with an emphasis on iPhone and Samsung. Jessica was one of the first people in the world to test, review and report on foldable phones and 5G wireless speeds. Jessica began leading CNET's How-To section for tips and FAQs in 2019, guiding coverage of topics ranging from personal finance to phones and home. She holds an MA with Distinction from the University of Warwick (UK).
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If you're the kind of person who likes to trace your own footprints, you may be interested in the new experimental feature that Google introduced Wednesday for mobile phones.

When you opt into the Latitude location feature on Google Maps and enable Location History, you'll find a brand-new beta dashboard view that doesn't just report your meanderings in a linear, chronological way, but will attempt to group your visits by trends, like trips away from home. The addition of map thumbnails helps keep data visual, liberating your history from traditional text-based constraints.

Privacy has been a key concern of late, and for good reason. Apart from opting into the service, Google stresses that your location history stays between you and your phone. Extra requests for your password when you view location history may annoy you, but they aim to prove that Google's serious. You can also clear your history at any time.

Google's dashboard view of Location History works with Google Maps on any mobile operating system that can report your location in the background--namely, Android, BlackBerry, Symbian S60, and Windows Mobile.