Check in with Google Latitude

Tuesday, February 1, 2011 | 10:10 AM

(Cross-posted with the Official Google Blog)

We first introduced Google Latitude to help you stay in touch with your friends and family by making it easy to share where you are. For the 10 million people actively using Latitude each month, this “where” has been a location on a map. Starting today in Google Maps 5.1 for Android, you can also connect that location to a real place by checking in there using Latitude.

Connecting your location with places
You can still use Latitude to automatically update and share your location, but check-ins let you add context to the location—like captions to a photo. For example, I live in San Francisco but often travel around the world. Until today, sharing my location let friends and family know if I was across the globe or in their neighborhood. Now, check-ins let them see the cool restaurant I’m trying in Taipei or join me for a latte at the cafe nearby.

See where your friends are on a map and where they’re checking in.

Not your typical check-ins
Because you can use Latitude to automatically detect your location, we’ve added a few twists to checking in to make it really easy:
  • Notifications: Turn on check-in notifications in Latitude’s settings and get a notification to check in at a nearby place once you arrive. Never forget to check in again.
  • Automatic check-ins: Choose to automatically check in at specific places you designate, and you’ll be checked in when you’re there. You can talk to friends or finish your bagel without fumbling with your phone.
  • Check out: Once you leave, Latitude knows to automatically check you out of places so friends aren’t left guessing if you’re still there.



Explore your world one check-in at a time
Latitude is built right into Google Maps for Android so check-ins work across Latitude and Maps seamlessly. For example, check in at that new hamburger joint, and you’ll see its Place page with reviews to help you order. When friends check in at a place, you can go straight from their Latitude profile to its Place page to learn about it, fire up Google Maps Navigation (Beta) for turn-by-turn directions to them, and more.

You can also check in at a favorite place to earn special status there; you’ll see if you’ve become a “Regular,” a “VIP” or a “Guru” on its Place page. Keep checking in to hold onto your status or reach the next level.

Latitude check-ins are built right into Google Maps and Place pages.

Of course, we thought carefully about how to make checking in to places quick and easy while giving you control over your privacy. Just like when sharing your location with Latitude, checking in is 100% opt-in, and you can choose to share any check-in with your friends on Latitude, publicly on the web and your Google profile, or just yourself. Learn more about checking in and managing your check-ins with Latitude in the Help Center. Coming later this week, you’ll also be able to see your complete history of check-ins using the optional History tab at google.com/latitude from your computer.

Update (2/11/2011): You can now see check-ins and your own check-in history at google.com/latitude from your computer.

Choose options for individual check-ins or turn on and off notifications in the Latitude settings.

Start checking in by downloading the latest Google Maps from Android Market (on Android 1.6+; tap here if you're on your phone) and then joining Latitude from the main menu. You can check in everywhere Maps and Latitude are already available. If you’re using the new Latitude app for iPhone, you’ll see your friends’ check-ins, and we’ll update the app soon so you can check in too.

Just the beginning...
Checking in from Latitude is just one step in helping you connect the places you go with the people you care about. We believe in letting you use or share your location however you like, and we’re working on making location and check-ins useful in more places—across Google and the web.

58 comments:

Sushubh said...

any plans to make it easy for us to create google places instantly using the mobile device? a lot of new destinations here do not make a listing themselves and thus, google places does not show them at all.

keridel said...

One problem I have with this. I can't make my own places. I want to check in at my house. Or my local pub. This only lets me use the ones that are on places already...

Tenkely said...

Way to go! This is a feature I have been waiting for. Well played, well played!

Paul said...

Do check-ins post to your Google Buzz feed? If not, why not? I love many Google products but the lack of integration between them is absolutely maddening.

Aside from Buzz, why is this feature not integrated with Google Hotpot? Seems like a perfect fit to me.

Gabriel said...

Check-ins use Google Buzz, but I have a Apps account with my personal domain, can I not use this? Keeps giving me errors when I try to check in.

"Check-in failed, please try again later"

Joseph said...

You're missing Facebook/Twitter crossposting to pull people into Latitude. Isolation makes it another Orkut.

Luke Hutchison said...

Dear Android Maps team -- can you please make it possible to disable your own Latitude icon on the map while signed in? It sits right over the GPS "current position" icon, so I already know where I am -- but it also obscures a lot of the neighborhood right around where I am: it just gets in the way. I never use Latitude because I'm sick of part of the map right around where I am being hidden.

Petre said...

Still a fresh android phone owner, so sorry if it's a stupid question, but the market links on both this blog post and the 5.0 one return 404 (from my HTC Desire and from my computer).

Is it due to geoip restrictions? (I live in Romania). I've been hoping for HTC to push an update for Google maps (since it came with the phone), but no luck.

Da Getz said...

Is this country specific? Not working on my phone, Ireland using a htc desire

zlogic said...

@Da Getz
Not working in Russia either.
I wish Google would stop unreasonable restrictions based on location, after all they already have no region-specific limitations.

Vinicius Esgalha said...

I might wanna ask (even though I already know the answer): will it be developed for Symbian?

triune said...

@Luke Hutchison:
Just turn off the latitude layer. DONE!

@Google: When you are not publicly sharing your checkins, it shares them privately, to a group of 0 people. Shouldn't this create a new group "CheckIns" in your contact list where you can assign certain people access to see your checkins?

Josh Smith said...

Would it be possible to choose to share my location with a selected group of my friends without having to send them a specific sharing request. I don't mind if they don't want to share where they are, I just want to share where I am without having to annoy people with emails and nagging them to start sharing themselves.

Telemaniaka said...

2.3.1 G1 in Bulgaria and no mention of check-ins. I'm disappointed, Google. -__- If there is a reason for it being US only, at least tell us.

Jiggy said...

@Luke - You should just go to Menu and press 'Clear Map'. The icon would disappear.

Can anyone tell me how can you checkout of a particular place? Or are they always automatic?

Amey Pai Dhungat said...

Awesome.. Too good... But way to go..

b01d said...

Нихрена не понял, в русской версии данного функционала нет? Обновил приложение, но у меня ничего не появилось...

CZsWorld said...

Facebook import/export please?

Shawn G. said...

It would be great if everything got integrated on the web side of things. Why is Google Maps on the web still not integrated with Latitude?

Ernesto said...

Nice idea. Too bad it does not work for people that use Google Apps account.

John said...

I agree to most of you guys, this was such a good idea, the technology really was evolving very suddenly...



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108 Adams said...

I do not need to see, where my friend are. I would need to know, how to get to my destination place. Navigation in Poland, please?

Andrew Ratcliffe said...

My family and I use Google Apps. Buzz is not available to Goog Apps. Latitude Check-In uses Buzz (for some strange, unexplained reason). Hence, my family and I cannot use check-in ("Check-In failed. Try again later"). Very disappointing.

I see that Buzz for Google Apps has been promised for a year but not yet delivered. Very disappointing situation.

KB said...

Google Calendar, will Google Latitude connect with it? Like check-in with an event that you have planned to attend?

M said...

@keridel Your home is not a place. I really wish people would stop cluttering up these apps with their homes or whatever other BS amuses them (like "Rock over by the Parking Lot"). It's a service to check in to commercial businesses and possibly public places, like parks.

Ron said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Ron said...

Definitely should have the ability to add a check in location (in the case where it does not exist). Also like the idea of changing your own latitude icon so it doesn't cover the map. Also to enable latitude to work in Google Navigation.

A rebel all the way... said...

It seems sitting at home, I can check in absolutely anywhere in the world. I just need to search for that place and then in more options, there is the 'check in here' option.
Seems like a bug? Otherwise, defeats the entire purpose of it?

Glaurung said...

I do not see Check-ins availability in Google Maps 5.1 in Russia. Is it normal?

Cole Mickens said...

There are places that are listed on Google Maps in my browser that are not available as places to check in on my mobile phone. Ironically, this seems to include most places that I would normally be wanting to check in at.

They're additionally all places that are supported by Gowalla, Foursquare and Facebook. I hate to be "that guy" but this seems like another field Google has jumped into and squandered their opportunity to make a really good first impression with some polish and cool social aspects. I guess I'll hold out more hope for +1, Me, etc.

Vagif said...

I want ability to add my own place and name it as I want. For example "home", "office". And also I want to choose sharing options like "public", "share for friends", "share for ... group", "hide", etc

punkdbaba said...

what i fell is that there should be a chance for everyone to add places as it is not a easy task for google to chk all the places and list them in detail. u can verify and add a listing of that later.

Thom Dot Com said...

Andrew:
Upgrade your apps. There are over 60 services that now use the Google Apps account. Buzz *is* one of them.

Ravi Kiran said...

Integrate this service to cross post on Facebook and Twitter. I'm sure this could be better than Foursquare and Facebook Check-ins as there are more venues already.

eFilm (Eric Li) said...

Cannot use check-in feature in Hong Kong. (Using Android 2.2 zh-TW)

Alberto said...

when is google latitude (and places) coming to webOS?

Stephan said...

Very nice features! Actually exactly the features, that are missing in Foursquare and Gowalla. Unfortunately I've got an iPhone 4 so I cannot use all those great Android-features. My next phone is going to be an Android!

John said...

No option to check in for users in Ireland. I am using latitude on my HTC desire in Ireland and do not seem to have an option to check in.

Rico said...

When will navigation features available for Asia? We been waiting seen 1st android handset landed here and yet no reply.

Alan said...

Genius... Absolute genius...

Combine this new feature with the NFC chip support in Honeycomb and Google have all the moniterisation potential they could ever want.

Imagine this - you take your phone to your local coffee shop and your phone automatically checks you in.

Next you pay for your coffee through your mobile phone.

The owner of the coffee shop then provides you with a discount because you are a loyal customer.
The more often that you check into the coffee shop the better the discount you get.

Google are happy as you are purchasing things through their devices - presumably with an admin fee passed onto the retailer.

The shops are happy as they develop brand loyalty - why go anywhere else if you have built up a great discount?...

You are happy as you are rewarded for your loyalty...

Genius

circle said...

Has it been rolled out to all Gmail accounts? Now using Google Map 5.1 + Android 2.2 on Nexus One but can't find relevant options in latitude settings.

Tried browsing to places in Hong Kong and San Fransisco and can't find the check-in button either...

luckylittle81 said...

Automatic "Check out" apparently does NOT work as It says I am still at the restaurant while I am already at work. Please fix!

cedric said...

same problem : did not check out automatically (I moved but not very far), and I found no way to manually checkout !)

And also should be able to check in to non existant places (would be cool if you could check in -private- to a new place which does not need to be public !)

Anyul Rivas said...

It doesn't work on Venezuela, using Motorola Milestone with Android 2.1

jeffreytz said...

So my problem is Latitude doesn't seem to be using the GPS function precisely enough (at least on my HTC Evo) to know that when I leave my local restaurant and go home (4 blocks away) that I've actually left - instead it kept checking me in via the "auto check-in" feature because I was in the proximity. Also can't search for places that don't show up on the "quick" latitude check in screen, instead you have to search the map, find the "place", then check-in from the Places page if it doesn't show up on that quick page. Cumbersome.

Sergio da Silva said...

Tried following the instructions on the help pages, but I don't have a "checkmark icon" under Latitude.

Using a Google Nexus One in Luxembourg (Europe) with Android version 2.2.2 and latest Google Maps version 5.1.0.

Sergio

Steve R. said...

A workaround for the "shared to 0 people" bug is to set up a new group called "Latitude friends" to which you can add people that will get your checkin buzz. It worked (at least) for me.

Lutiana said...

Awesome feature. But I want to be able to make custom locations to check in. Right now it only allows me to check into places that are all ready in your DB. So I can't check in at home, or a friends house. Add this feature and Latitude automatically become a VERY useful tool for tracking work hours, mileage and other such things.

Cooter said...

This is a super feature.

I would like to echo the desire of several others, i.e. that I would like to create "custom" locations (e.g. "My Home", "Work" etc.)

I like the idea of this and NFC.

diabolis said...

i dont see this check in option under anywhere in maps app. it dont look like it got updated except for the 5.1 in settings/about.

weird i'm been checked out of checkin into anywhere :/

Cableguy said...

Standing outside a cafe that exists on Google places with my GPS on but it's still not finding it and there's no option to search, just a list of irrelevant business much further away.

I guess Google don't know how important it is to be able to search for things???

Solana said...

plssssss make this feauture for BLACKBERRY

Monkeez blog said...

I too use my own domain and get the failed, try again later error. bad oversight on developers part.

Gena said...

my friend has a blackberry and my droid eris says "friend's device or version of maps not supported". is there a way to fix this or go back to an earlier version of google latitude to get real time updating? i have google maps version 5.1.

Erik van Luxzenburg said...

I agree with Andrew Ratcliffe, as my family and I use Google Apps as well and are not able to use this great feature! When is Google expecting to let Google Apps maintainers to decide wheter their organisation can use Google Profiles, Buzz, HotPot and this checkin?
If Google waits too long, my family has jumped the bandwagon and switches to Foursquare or the likes!

Bupahs said...

Latitude history has not worked since the update

s10stealth said...

Latitude is about 20% useful/accurate at best. Rarely updates correctly. Wife is on the road now, been in the same place for 1.5hrs. (no she isn't).
I was spoiled with Verizon's Family Locator.

Todd said...

Why can't I sign in anywhere with a Google Apps for Business account? I'm so tired of fighting this battle with Google Apps -- I pay more for a Google Apps account but I actually get less in terms of not being a fully fledged 'citizen' on all Google's services. Fix this once and for all -- and if you don't fix it everywhere, please fix it here!