Google May Build a Latitude App for iPhone OS 4.0

Google may build a Latitude application for iPhone OS 4.0, but will Apple approve?

Latitude is a feature of Google Maps which allows you to see the location of your friends.

TechCrunch asked Google senior product manager Steve Lee about building a native app for the iPhone now that it includes background location.

Lee answered, “From the start, we’ve made Latitude available across platforms. Supporting iPhone with a great Latitude user experience is extremely important to us, and we’re evaluating the best way to deliver that on iPhone OS 4.0 now, so we don’t have anything to announce just yet.”

Back in July, Google admitted to having built a native Latitude application for the iPhone but said Apple didn't want users to confuse the app with Maps so they offered it as a webapp instead.

We worked closely with Apple to bring Latitude to the iPhone in a way Apple thought would be best for iPhone users. After we developed a Latitude application for the iPhone, Apple requested we release Latitude as a web application in order to avoid confusion with Maps on the iPhone, which uses Google to serve maps tiles.

With the multitude of navigation apps available for the iPhone, it seems very unlikely that this is the real reason for not offering the app.

If Google tries to submit Latitude a second time, Apple could refuse it again; however, Apple is already under investigation for the refusal of Google Voice from the App Store. They may not want another investigation on their hands.

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