Feb 01 AT 2:54 PM Anthony Domanico 13 Comments

Google Maps updated to version 5.1, bringing Latitude check-ins

Seems Google’s at it again. Today marks the release of Google Maps 5.1, which brings full check-in support using Google Latitude. Google has added the following new features:

  • 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.

Checking into a location takes you to its Google Place page which has more information on the location including customer reviews. If one of your Latitude friends checks in somewhere, you can click on their check-in to gather more information about the place, which is extremely helpful if you’ve never been to that place before.

If you check into a location enough times, you get the same status you’ve come to expect from the likes of Foursquare, becoming a “Regular,” a “VIP,” or a “Guru.” No word on whether or not checking in gets you real life rewards such as discounts like Foursquare or SCVNGR.

Using Google’s new check-in service is completely optional, and you will automatically be opted-out, needing to opt-in in order to use this service.

Interested in using Latitude’s new check-in service? Head on over to the market and update your maps application.  You should probably update even if you don’t plan on using this service, just simply remain opted-out of Latitude’s check-in service.

Source: Google Blog

Anthony loves all things technology, from hardware to apps and games. You can connect with him via Google+ or Twitter by clicking one of the fancy doo-dads above.

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  • SliestDragon

    This looks pretty cool, although it would only be useful if you had a lot of friends in you area also using it. I’ll need to try this out later.

  • http://Website Kid Twist

    Does anyone know how big this is once the package is installed? Maps is already huge and I have precious little space left in my Eris’s internal memory.

    • http://Website Chris

      @Kid Twist
      It’s 9.28MB for that app + data
      (market still claims 5.78MB?!)

      I like this feature, interested to see how it develops. Not so many places to check-in to at the moment (and I’m in London)… can’t add your own locations either.

      • http://Website Kid Twist

        Thanks. Apps are always compressed when you download them. Once they’re installed, they expand in size as all the files unzip and take their place in your device.

    • http://Website Mark

      It came up 10.96MB TOTAL on my G2 with with the application taking 9.28MB and data taking 1.68MB.

  • http://Website James

    The app is now a cool 11mb so not small.

    This would be great if I could make my own check ins. Until then I will stick with foursquare.

    • http://Website Mark

      RIGHT! It’s just like the Facebook Places feature. I hate how they force you to check in to pre-determined places. I want to be able to check in wherever I want. >:(

    • http://Website watbetch

      Time for a phone upgrade. 11MB shouldn’t be a problem, it isn’t for my Android phones

  • http://Website Nammy

    Google Latitude is awesome, but no one around me wants to use it for privacy concerns : /

    They have a point I guess, but its still an awesome concept to be able to know where in the city your friends are just by glancing at your phone.

  • http://asurroca.com Alfonso Surroca

    After a half-day using this, I’m already loving it. As a habitual Foursquare checker-inner, it solves the very annoyances the promo vid mentioned, namely fumbling with your phone when you get somewhere with friends.

    As it stands, about half my friends use Foursquare and the other half Facebook Places, with none using Latitude. Latitude is going to need to pass on check-in data to Foursquare and/or Facebook Places the same way Foursquare passes its data on to Facebook Places if they really want to make the legion of zombie passive Google Latitude users rise up!

  • http://Website Michael C.

    I can’t figure out how to manually update the (built-in) Maps app on my Nexus S… it doesn’t appear under My Apps in the Market…

    • http://Website grey

      As it’s a preinstalled app the market place won’t recognise it and it won’t be placed in the my apps tab.

      Easily fixed.
      All you need to do is search for “maps” in the market place. The app will be listed as installed so you’ll just need to click “update”.

      No idea why this happens, it’s just one of those quirks of the market place I suppose.

  • http://www.haakuturi.com Nik

    Pity this doesn’t work for Google Apps users :’(