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.