Saturday, July 25, 2009

How Google can enable iPhone location tracking

I share Google's grumpiness that Latitude will work on a crappy BlackBerry Pearl but not on my iPhone. That's a multitasking limitation but, worse, Apple also blocked Google's Latitude app because it's too much like the bundled Map App (as it should be). So Google's got a useless web app instead. You need to run it to get the iPhone to update its Latitude location, and even I'm not crazy enough to bother with that.

Happily, there's a workaround.

Google can use other people's applications as a Latitude Trojan Horse.

In my case, I use Byline quite frequently. What if Byline, a few seconds after startup, pinged my location to Latitude? What if many of the non-Apple apps I used did this?

It's a rhetorical question of course. The result would be a reasonable approximation of how Latitude should work.

Of course why would Byline and other Apps do this? Because Google would provide the code, and would pay them for their troubles (transactional, flat, whatever -- the key is that it adds up and isn't too easy to game).

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