Google has been slowly inching its way into GPS-based social networking for some time now. With popular social networks like Facebook having a check-in feature and the social network Foursqure, which is based solely on this functionality, it’s safe to assume that Google wants a piece of the action. This began with Google Latitude, but users found certain features missing. Backitude is a new add-on application for Latitude now, which is looking to change that.
Backitude from XDA Forum Member backitude adds a number of features that Google Latitude users have requested for a long time. Some features include background GPS updates at user-defined intervals, WiFi location detection, and cell tower triangulation. Beat that Foursquare. The application focuses mostly on location and the user controlling when, where, how often, and how accurately Latitude updates. One of the most unique features by far is location stealing. According to the developers:
Utilizes a concept of “stealing” locations to conserve battery-power. When another application (such as Google Navigation, Google Maps, or even a web browser) is running and already detecting your location, Backitude will “steal” this value and use it to update your Google Latitude, if it is accurate enough. By using this value, it resets your time interval and prevents the location detection service from having to waste battery life on unnecessary location polling that is already occurring.
A GPS location app that uses the GPS locations of other apps to update itself? Very cool. Google Latitude users will surely enjoy the added functionality. Does it put it on par with the other location-based social networks available? Probably not, but it’s one giant step closer.
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