If you've been using Google Latitude to find your nearby friends, you're in luck: Google updated Latitude with location history and alerts for when your friends are nearby. If you don't love having your every step tracked — well, it's kind of creepy.
Clearly if you're someone concerned about your privacy, a service like Latitude (and its recent updates) may feel a bit strange. Just keep in mind that the extent to which Latitude tracks you is always in your hands. Moving onto the new features:
Location history is pretty straight forward. Enable it in Latitude and the app starts keeping track of where you've been as well as where you are. Location alerts, on the other hand, are a little more interesting.
After working on this for a while, we realised it wasn't as straightforward as sending a notification every time Latitude friends were near each other. Imagine that you're Latitude friends with your roommate or co-workers. It would get pretty annoying to get a text message every single time you walked in the door at home or pulled into work. To avoid this, we decided to make Location Alerts smarter by requiring that you also enable Location History. Using your past location history, Location Alerts can recognise your regular, routine locations and not create alerts when you're at places like home or work. Alerts will only be sent to you and any nearby friends when you're either at an unusual place or at a routine place at an unusual time.
Neat. Of course, the features are only as useful as their adoption, and considering iPhone users are stuck with a kind of lame webapp because Apple worried that Latitude would confuse users, it probably hasn't been adopted as widely as might be necessary. Then again, if you've got an Android, BlackBerry, Symbian S60 or Windows Mobile phone, you can grab the proper app.
Google Latitude, now with Location History & Alerts [Google Mobile Blog]