Monday, 20 February 2012

Google Latitude for Android gets check-in abilities.

Google Latitude for Android got a sneaky update, last Wednesday, where Google without announcing anything, slipped in check-in abilities, similar to Foursquare. And, as expected, there is a Google+ tie-in. According to Mashable, now, if you use your Android phone to check into a location, a leaderboard will pop-up showing you how many points you got for checking in to that location as well as where you stand points wise, in comparison to people in your Circles. The app will also show you your highscores by week. When you hit "Show more", while checking in using the app, you will basically see your whole leaderboard.

According to Google, Latitude will also assign status levels to users, starting from Visitors, progressing to Regular, VIP and Guru in most places, as they keep checking in. Businesses may customize the names of status levels and icons. To see your status level, look for the icon immediately below a location's address on a Place page, accompanied by the text, "You're a (Visitor/Regular/VIP/Guru) here". Touching your status level will bring you to the Recent check-in history page. Of course, to receive a new status, you have to keep checking in.

It seems Google is also tying up with businesses to provide offers to loyal check-iners. Offers can only be unlocked once checked in to the location. To see full details of the offer, you have to touch the offer. The offers section won't appear on a Place page, if the location doesn't provide offers.

The Leaderboard feature is only available to users who have the very latest version of Google Maps and not everyone has access to it, yet. Google has not flatly stated that this update is meant to create competition for Foursquare, or even Facebook Places.

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