Google vs. Foursquare: Geolocation battle heats up

Google Latitude was launched early last year and has since harvested 3 million users

Apparently informing your friends that you're eating a turkey sandwich at the deli down the street is the most "interesting" fad of the moment, and Google wants the biggest slice of cake. At the Web 2.0 Expo, Google indicated it would be enhancing its Latitude service to give other location-based time-wasters -- like the achingly obnoxious Foursquare -- a run for their money. And now that Facebook has teamed up with McDonald's to launch a similar tracking system, the battle has begun to create the most stalkeriffic app.

Google Latitude was launched early last year and has since harvested 3 million users, but has gone largely forgotten. Three million is a hefty number, but it's worth mentioning that a quarter of Latitude users have zero friends, meaning nobody gives a flying hoot where you're at. Foursquare, on the other hand, boasts 1 million users, and after Yahoo's failed attempt at purchasing the app from creator Dennis Crowley for over $100 million, Foursquare has stolen the public's attention.

Google wants to change all that. Stealing a page from Foursquare's book, an enhanced Latitude would have a check-in feature and a bolstered location history scheme. And since nobody can match Google's grip on map data, Latitude would automatically add locations, whereas Foursquare requires user input.

But Latitude's biggest hurdle toward mass-popularity is the iPhone. Google built a Latitude app, but Apple -- who essentially hates Google -- rejected it from the App Store. The other gladiators, like the 2-million-strong MyTown, have been welcomed into Apple's arms, painting Latitude the wallflower.

If you, like many, really care about turkey sandwiches, Latitude's evolution is one to watch. Otherwise you can entertain yourself with good old fashioned restraining orders.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags google latitudeFoursquareGPS

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Brennon Slattery

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?