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Bill O
02-16-2009, 10:22 PM
Has anybody played around with Google Latitude yet?

I'm not sure I have any interest in it, but it could be a cool alternative to a Spot Tracker. Not for emergencies, but for posting your location on the internet for your friends and family to see.

Brad
02-16-2009, 10:31 PM
Yes, my son and I have been using it and testing. We have 5 people watching on PCs and cell phones. For my phone (Windows mobile based) it triangulates based on cell towers unless you turn the GPS function on. Viewers can see a small dot with GPS on and a larger circle for GPS off. The system continues to track you as long as the phone is not turned off or the application stopped. It does not seem to matter whether the application is on top and active or in the background.

Your location gets sent to Google through the data connection. No signal, no updates for others. And your visible map does not update on your cell phone. But the tracking arrow on your phone does continue even with no map features showing.

It is easy to scroll through the different friends' locations. But, there is no ability to see all the friends on one map. This is what we need for STP. It is not clear whether the displays on different phones works differently. On mine I have to toggle to a different person and back to get the other person's updated location. On the computer there is an update period but we have not seen a pattern.

My son went to the airport in Ohio this afternoon - dropped offline (while in the plane) - then reappeared in Chicago. My daughter will be tracked from Ohio to NC tomorrow. I will be able to see how it does in the WV mountains.

Bill O
02-16-2009, 10:45 PM
What does it do for battery life?

It would be fun tracking somebody drive across the country.

Brad
02-17-2009, 06:39 AM
It probably varies on battery life by cell phone model and manufacturer. I have a Samsung blackjack II with the original battery (not the extended life one). With the GPS turned on you can see the battery meter run down fast. With the GPS off (triangulate for you and able to view other people's locations) it is probably going down faster but it is not noticeable.

When at home at my desk I have the phone plugged in for power. When in the car I plug it in. I will be out and around a bit today and will leave the GPS off and see how it does.

Brad
02-18-2009, 10:39 AM
Bill,

I did a bit of testing yesterday. I am using a Blackjack II on AT&T and it's battery can survive most of the day if I do not have heavy usage. At 8:30AM I turned Latitude on the phone - did multiple calls throughout the day - some surfing - texting - e-mails - and ran the GPS most of the time during the day - but was viewing the maps on and off all day. My battery gave its warning almost dead message at 5:30PM. I was always on a 3G network which is probably better for battery life. I did not plug the phone to power all that time.

9 hours of battery life with Latitude running is not bad. If I keep this phone for a while I will shift to the extended life battery and not have a problem at all.

Flippin
02-18-2009, 12:01 PM
So if I knew your number, would I be able to track you? If I sign up, can anyone who knows my number track me?

Brad
02-18-2009, 12:07 PM
No. I have to specifically invite you at your e-mail address you use for iGoggle.com. If you accept, then you can track me. When you accept you can say whether I can see you or not.