Hack Your Phone To Start Google Latitude Automatically

nokian85If you're a keen user of Google's Latitude, you can hack your phone so that the application runs automatically.

Lifehacker reader Chris wrote in to explain how he happened upon this feature. Scanning the drive on his Nokia N85, he discovered three empty binary files:

want_autostart.dat asked_autostart.dat allow_autostart.dat

Like any good geek, Chris figured those files posed a challenge:

I took a chance and used a hex editor and set each file to contain "01" binary as the only value and saved them back to the phone. Now my phone auto-starts the Google Maps service and reports my location to the Latitude service without me having to remember to open the application. This only opens the latitude service not the full map program (which is good!)

We don't have a handy phone to test this on at Lifehacker HQ right now, but it seems like it might be a useful trick on other models as well if you're confident messing around with files on the phone. If you get it working, share your victory in the comments. Thanks Chris!


    Google actually released an update (3.0.1.x) for Windows Mobile and Symbian a month or so ago that added this autostart feature :)

    See the release notes here: http://www.google.com/support/mobile/bin/answer.py?answer=144115

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