Google has gone all official with its Latitude app for the iPhone although the app did appear, albeit briefly, in the App Store last week.
It seems that we’re supposed to actually be seeing it now though, with a Google blog post being published to mark the release.
Google Latitude has been available to Android, BlackBerry, Symbian and Windows Mobile users for a while now, but this is the first time that Apple-phone owners have been able to opt in to the location-based platform.
“Since launching last year, Latitude’s focus has always been on one goal: make it simple to stay in touch with friends and family by sharing where you are with each other,” said Chris Lambert, software engineer on the Google Latitude Team.
“Simple setup. Simple sharing without fumbling for your phone. Now, you can use Latitude on your iPhone just like the more than 9 million people actively using it.”
With Google Latitude on your iPhone you’ll be able to see where you Latitude opted-in buddies are, show off where you are and contact your pals from within the app.
The app supports multi-tasking too, so you’ll be able to leave it running in the background (even in standby mode) and your location will still be available for others to see.
We’ll warn you that we have nothing but the word of an alleged Sprint employee that this is the real deal, but we don’t know what else it could be — if it walks like a duck and quacks like an EVO with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, we’re inclined to believe it’s the HTC EVO Shift 4G. Factor in the noticeable lack of front-facing camera, silver trackpad and those throwback flat keys, and we’re even willing to forgive those hastily penciled watermarks on the keyboard and on top of the clearly ‘shopped screen. Even if this shot is legit, we haven’t seen the full device yet — it sure looks like this Knight is wearing a suit ofplastic armor around the edges.
In possibly related news, Android Central nabbed an alleged screenshot of a Sprint database showing an “HTC A7373” handset coming to Sprint on January 9th, and while one Russian e-tailer seems to think that codename refers to the GSM-friendly Desire Z, we have to imagine a Knight / Speedy / EVO Shift release is far more likely than a T-Mobile G2 redux on Sprint’s CDMA frequenci
Google has announced that it is rolling out an update to the Android Marketplace in a move that should mean the store is easier to navigate.
“The Android Market engineering team has been hard at work on improving the Android Market experience for users and developers. Today, I’m pleased to announce a significant update to the Android Market client. Over the next two weeks, we’ll be rolling out a new Android Market client to all devices running Android 1.6 or higher,” said Eric Chu, Android developer ecosystem dude on a blog post.
According to the team, the new Market client introduces “important features that improve merchandising of applications, streamline the browse-to-purchase experience, and make it easier for developers to distribute their applications.”
Users who get the new update, which is virtually every Android phone out there will be able to quickly flip through the carousel to view promoted applications and immediately go to the download page for the application they want.
They’ll now also be able to find Widgets and Live Wallpapers thanks to a dedicated section while Related content, which makes it easier for users to quickly find apps of similar interest. Seems you can’t have enough weather apps.
To streamline the browse-to-purchase experience, users can now access all the information about an application on a single page without the need to navigate across different tabs.
Other new elements is a reduction in the time you can request a refund (15 minutes) and a stronger focus on allowing games developers the chance to make better games with more graphics support and the ability to make larger apps.
“With this release, we aimed to deliver features that are most requested by users and developers. However, we’re not done yet,” says Chu. “We plan to continue to rapidly enhance Android Market for both users and developers and make it the best content distribution service for the Android ecosystem.”