In the latest attempt to try and destroy any remnant of privacy you had left in your life, Google have launched a new phone application: Latitude, which you can use to see where other people with Latitude are hanging out. And providing you've 'made friends' (in the Facebook way) they can see you too. Sounds scary. But we say: use it to your advantage.
What this means, of course, is that once you’ve got your girlfriend a suitable mobile and hacked into it while she’s asleep, you can get Latitude for her, make friends with yourself, and you’ll never not know where she is. Ever again. Sounds a lot less scary now, eh? To ease your fears even further, here’s how it works:
1/ Latitude is based on Google Maps, which your phone uses via its GPS function to work out where you are, and show it on a screen. You can also use it to get directions to and from your friends, and choose if you want to get there by car, public transport or on foot. And it’ll all appear on your crystal-clear mobile phone display, looking something like this:
2/ Whoever you can see on your map, you’ll be able to see their email address and phone number as well, and you’ll be given the option to send an instant message, like on Google Chat. So you could really shit your girlfriend up if, say, she went somewhere you weren’t expecting, and she had a friendly “I can see you…” pop up on her screen. Or something.
3/ Because Google are kings of the internet, you can access all this information via the iGoogle application on your desktop. So you can sit and watch anybody you like, instead of working. And it’ll look a little something like this:
4/ Currently, most Blackberrys, Nokia smartphones and Windows-powered phones work with Latitude. Click here to see exactly which phones you should be getting your lady. But ignore the iPhone, because it won’t work on that yet. But it’s coming. Soon.
5/ One thing that could catch you out is that a Latitude user can pre-set the location they want themselves to appear in. So if you want all your friends to think you’re in New York, you can make it so. Or if you want your boss to think you’re at home in bed when actually you’re on a daytime whore crawl in Soho, you can. The flipside of this, is that you never really know if any of the people on your screen are where they say they are. So your girlfriend could be lying.
6/ Anyone you want to be Latitude buddies with will have to accept to be your ‘friend’. Which does mean that if you want to keep secret tabs on someone, you will have to break into their phone.
7/ There is the distant possibility that by downloading Google Latitude onto your phone, you are essentially being bugged by the internet giants and they will know where you are, always. And you will never be able to hide. So anything bad you do, they can find you. Like in Minority Report. You just think about that.
8/ All locations, Google says, are “an approximation”. But, sod it, get it from Google now.
If none of this makes sense, check out the Google tutorial video which might, (might), have been the best thing to do in the first place.