Google Latitude Now Tracks Movement, Learns Your Habits

Google Latitude Wednesday added two features that the social network claims users have been requesting. One of the features is designed to let users know when they are close to friends in the hopes of facilitating a meet-up. The second feature stores information about the movement of Latitude users, but both are tied together.

If the feature is enabled by users, Google Location History allows users to store, view and manage recent location. That information can be conveniently applied to Google Maps and viewed by users looking to track their own movements.

"You can visualize your history on Google Maps and Earth or play back a recent trip in order. Of course, you can always delete selected history or your entire location history at any time," Chris Lambert, software engineer, Google mobile, wrote on the Official Mobile Blog.

The second part to the package of features rolled out today is called Google Location Alerts. Location Alerts is designed to learn users' movement routines and habits. Then when a Latitude user is in a location or place that doesn't fit the regular mold, Google Latitude will send an alert to friends.

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"We decided to make Location Alerts smarter by requiring that you also enable Location History. Using your past location history, Location Alerts can recognize your regular, routine locations and not create alerts when you're at places like home or work. Alerts will only be sent to you and any nearby friends when you're either at an unusual place or at a routine place at an unusual time," wrote Lambert.

The search engine giant is making it clear that in order for these features to work they must be consciously selected by users.

"You must explicitly enable each feature, and of course, you can disable it at any time," Lambert wrote on the blog.