Google has finally released a native iPhone app for Google Latitude. The web app is nice, but you can’t use it to update your location in the background. Google Latitude for iPhone uses one of the new features in iOS 4 that allows applications to track your location even if they aren’t in the foreground. That’s the main reason why it requires an iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 or iPad 3G running iOS 4. (Update: According to Google, “the Google Latitude app will run on the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPad, and iPod touch (3rd/4th generation). However, background location updating is only supported on the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, and iPad 3G.”)
The native app is better because it shows more information about the locations of your friends and it sends you to the map view when you click on a friend, but the web app is just a layer in Google Maps and this makes a lot of sense. Google Latitude should not be a standalone app, it should integrate with Google Maps and Google Contacts, so you can quickly find your friends.
Marissa Mayer, Google’s VP of geographic and local services, has recently said that Google Latitude will add explicit check-ins, inspired by Foursquare. “Latitude is useful for a smaller group of people. Only a handful of people you’ll want to know where you are at all times. There will be new layers coming on top of it. It’s more useful when more people are on it. And implicit and explicit — yes, the check-in. Maybe that’s in Latitude or maybe it’s in Maps.”
Sometimes, when you use a smartphone, the best search result is not a web page, it’s an application. That’s probably the reason why Google added an OneBox for iPhone and Android apps. If you enter a query that includes keywords like “download”, “application” or “app” on an iPhone or on an Android phone, you’ll see a list of results from Apple’s App Store or from the Android Market.
“You can tap these links to go directly to the app’s Android Market or iPhone App Store page. You can also get a quick look at some of the app’s basic details including the price, rating, and publisher. These results will appear when your search pertains to a mobile application and relevant, well-rated apps are found,” explains Google.
Maybe Google will develop a full-fledged search engine for mobile apps, index reviews, show recommendations and allow developers to advertise their applications.
If you shop on Amazon and own an iPad, you can now download an app that lets you do just that from the tablet computer. The app is free of charge and available on the App Store as of now (iTunes link).
The app is custom-built for the tablet device and lets users search and browse products offered by Amazon and thousands of other retailers.
It includes features customers will be familiar with, including bestsellers, daily deals, product information, recommendations and customer reviews.
Amazon promises users a “unique, interactive experience that takes full advantage of the visual and tactile nature of the iPad”. Key features include the ability to purchase items using 1-Click ordering and Amazon Prime, check out personalized recommendations, view editorial and customer reviews, watch movie trailers and listen to song samples, and so forth.
Amazon.com had earlier introduced a Kindle app for iPad, and on April 4 announced the second one it had added to the stable: an app for MDb (Internet Movie Database).
While surfing the web on your iPad, we expect many of you will want to check your Gmail. If you go to gmail.com in your browser, you’ll see something different than what you’re used to on the desktop. We’re releasing an experimental user interface for the iPad built on the Gmail for mobile HTML5 web app that we launched last year for the iPhone and Android devices. Those devices have large screens compared to other phones, and tablets like the iPad give us even more room to innovate. To take advantage of the iPad’s large display, we’ve created a two-pane view with your list of conversations on the left and messages to the right.
To try this new interface, go to gmail.com in your browser. We recommend adding a homescreen link for easy access. As this interface is experimental, expect changes as we continue to develop and optimize. Also, please let us know any ideas or feedback that you have. You can also access Gmail on the iPad through the native Mail app using the IMAP protocol.
Additionally, the iPad ships with a number of Google services pre-installed. As with Mac computers and the iPhone, you’ll find Google Search in the top right corner of Safari. The YouTube app for iPad is built-in, so you can watch HD videos and read and write comments. The new Maps app on iPad takes advantage of high-resolution satellite and Street View imagery, includes a new terrain view, and lets you search for local businesses and get directions. Just like on the iPhone, you can also go to the App Store to download Google Mobile App with search by voice. Of course, Google Mobile App was originally designed for the iPhone’s screen dimensions, but we’ve adapted it to work on the iPad and we’re looking into new ideas to make the app even better.
As you use Google’s web-based applications on iPad, you’ll notice that you sometimes see the desktop user interface and other times you see the mobile interface. We’ve evaluated the behavior of each Google web app using the iPad Simulator, and we are serving the interface we feel works best. If you’d like any help using our products on iPad, please click the ‘Help’ link within the product.
We’re particularly excited by how tablet computers create the opportunity for new kinds of user interaction. Here on the mobile team, we often talk about how mobile devices are sensor-rich: they can sense touch through their screens, see with a camera, hear through a microphone, and they know where they are with GPS. The same holds true for tablet computers, and we’re just starting to work through how our products can become even better on devices like the iPad.
Google has submitted a new version of its Google Mobile App for the iPhone platform (iTunes link), and the fresh app now finally boasts built-in support for Voice Search on iPod touch devices (2G or newer). Version 0.4.5.3281 also brings improved stability when using Voice Search on ‘restrictive networks’ and is also said to make Search by Voice completion detection function a bit better. Other than that, the update brings a number of bug fixes, one that fixes pasting into the search box and one that should prevent the app from crashing when you do a search for ‘@’.
Start developing the next generation of innovative applications for iPad with iPhone SDK 3.2 beta. iPhone Developer Program members can download iPhone SDK 3.2 beta today.
iPhone SDK 3.2 beta is available for download to members of the iPhone Developer Program. Not a member? Learn more
iPhone Developer Program Members have access to:
iPhone SDK 3.2 beta
iPhone SDK 3.2 beta contains all the tools you need to start developing and optimizing iPhone OS applications for iPad.
The iPad Simulator lets you build and run your iPad application on your Mac, allowing you to lay out your user interface for the larger screen size, test your app’s memory usage, and shorten the debug cycle in the design process.
iPad Programming Guide
iPad provides new opportunities to create Multi-Touch iPhone OS applications on a larger display than ever. The iPad Programming Guide introduces new features available for iPad and how to implement those features in your applications.
iPad Human Interface Guidelines
Design an incredible user interface and user experience for your iPad application by following the iPad Human Interface Guidelines. Learn how to effectively use the new views and controls available to you to deliver unforgettable applications to your customers.
iPad Sample Code
Get started developing innovative universal applications for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch by downloading iPad sample code. Each sample code project is buildable and provides an example of how to accomplish a task for a specific technology.
Preparing Universal Applications
Developers can now start planning for universal applications, allowing them to take full advantage of the technologies found on iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch with a single binary.
Become a member of the iPhone Developer Program now.
Join the iPhone Developer Program and start developing applications for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. The iPhone Developer Program provides a complete and integrated process for developing and distributing applications for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.