Just like its back down over the Google Voice app last month, Apple has now backed down over its stance on Google Latitude and approved it for the App Store to let iOS users to keep an eye on family and friends from their iPhone, iPod touch or iPad.
Google Latitude allows users to find friends on a map and allow their friends find them. The app was launched back in February 2009 but Apple blocked it from the App Store saying it would cause "confusion with Maps on the iPhone." Instead, Google released a Web version, a few months later. Google claim it currently has 9 million active users on the Android, BlackBerry, Symbian and Windows Mobile platforms.
The iOS app will be available to owners of the iPhone 4 and 3GS, third and fourth generation iPod touches, as well as the iPad running iOS 4.0 and higher. While Latitude has lost ground to other similar apps such as Foursquare and Facebook Places, it will hope that this approval will give it a boost in the coming months. Latitude on iOS has the added ability to run and continuously update in the background, even while your phone is in your pocket – though this is not supported on the iPod touch devices.
Of course, one of the main issues with this app is privacy. Google points out, however, that Latitude is 100 percent opt-in. You must install the app and add friends (or accept requests) to start sharing your location. You can turn off background updating if you’d like and control the same privacy settings: share only city-level location, hide your location, or sign out of Latitude at any time. Learn more in the privacy tips video. Of course since updating continues in the background the worry is you forget to hide your location and this could lead to some problems.