Google Latitude GPS Phone Tracker Shut Down

Written by Felipe on December 9th, 2013

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I’m sure that you’ve heard the expression, “all good things must come to an end”. Well unfortunately this is the case for one of the major cell phone tracking apps that were on the market.

One of the first major players in the GPS phone tracking game was Google. They had a GPS phone tracker service called Google Latitude that I really loved. As far as I know it was the first of the apps of it’s kind to offer a “social networking” aspect to it.

The way this worked was users could send friend requests to other users who had the app installed on their phones. If they accepted the request, both users could see the location of each other displayed on their phone. This software was really great for meeting up with friends who might be in the same area as you were.

Sadly, on August 9th, 2013 Google officially closed this service down. If you were a user of this service this means that you’ll no longer be able to share your location coordinates with your friends using the app. You also won’t be able to see a list of your friends in the Google Latitude app.

I’m not sure if Google’s decision to close their doors will spill over to other cell phone tracking applications or not. In the past, some of these apps used the Google Maps interface to display location data. Google has made an official statement that I’ve pasted below.

Third Party Applications
“Applications that use the Latitude API are no longer be able to access your location data, including Location History data, on Google servers. However, these non-Google applications may continue to store data they’ve already accessed. Please contact the developer of these applications for more information.”

Out of curiosity, I just tested the Where’s My Droid application on my HTC Thunderbolt and it’s still working fine. When I log into the Where’s My Droid Commander web based tracking website, my phone’s location was very accurately displayed on a Google Map.

Along with this shut down, Google has disabled the ability of their users to check in with their phone.

Is That It For Google?

Google isn’t completely out of the GPS location sharing game. If you happen to have a Google+ account, you can choose to share your location with your Google+ friends from within the Android App. Check-ins are still available in the Google+ for mobile application. You can still use this app to share your location information with your circles. You can also see your friends on the map with the location sharing feature of Google+. As of the time that this article was written, iPhone users aren’t yet able to share their location on Google+ just yet. According to Google, this feature will be coming soon to iPhone users.

I have to admit that I’m sad to see Google Latitude go. I’m not sure why they decided to close their doors on this application and I can’t seem to find a statement from them that addresses this matter.

If you’re looking for an alternative to this once popular application, I suggest that you look through the list of apps that I have displayed on my homepage. You can do that by clicking here now.

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