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>> Hi. I'm CNET News Editor, Josh Lowensohn, and I'm taking a First Look at Google Latitude for the iPhone. Latitude is Google's social geo-location service that lets you share where you are with people you know. You can also use the service to keep tabs on where your friends are, no matter what part of the world they're in. Google just released a version of Latitude that works on the iPhone, although instead of running as a stand-alone application, it works right in the Safari browser. To use Latitude, you have to have a Google account. Once you've signed in, you can see their exact location right down to the block they're standing on. If you're worried about security, Latitude has a few simple ways to keep all your friends, or just some of them, from knowing where you are. You can choose to share your exact location or just what city you're in. You can also choose to show where you are by dragging your icon across the map with your finger instead of relying on your phone's GPS, which can sometimes be in accurate. For those times when you don't feel like being seen at all, you can keep friends in the dark about where you are. This works on individual friends, too. So if you want to share where you are with some friends, but not others, it's a simple trip to the settings menu. Along with seeing where you are, you can also use Latitude to search for businesses and get turn-by-turn directions. To do so, you can simply search, which gives you the same results you get as in Google Maps. Once you find a business or a friend, you can then look up driving directions from your current location, or whatever address you type in. One small shortcoming of this version of Latitude compared to its software sibling on Android is that it cannot constantly monitor where you are unless you have it open. Google may be working on building this functionality into future versions of its Maps app for the iPhone. But until then, you're stuck having to use Safari to tell people where you are. I'm Josh Lowensohn, and this has been a First Look at Google Latitude. For more information on it and other web apps, be sure to head over to CNET's webware blog.
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