Latify a Feature Rich Essential Add-on to Google Latitude
Sep 8, 2011 8:25 AM –
Latify is the ultimate Google Latitude client. Coming with cool extra features and far less a drain on your battery, Latify gives you far more control over how you share your geo-location and syncs seamlessly with the Google Latitude service itself. It boasts cool widgets, customizable syncing and polling options, in addition to the very cool History playback feature.
Tested on: HTC Desire HD
Pros & Cons:
- Lets you share you location via: Twitter, Facebook, Google Buzz, Gmail and SMS.
- Syncs easily with Latitude- and these syncs are customizable.
- Far less battery drain than Latitude.
- Integrates with a Google Fusion table (although you need to set one up).
- Wide array of options and profiles.
- Home screen widgets.
- Ability to save history and playback.
- It can be a little complex to initially set up for beginners.
If you use Google Latitude, you are going to need to check this out. Latify is a extremely useful Latitude client which not only allows you to share your location simply and easily, but also comes with a host of customizations.
You can set up Latify so it runs in the background, carefully updating your location at various preset times. You can switch between profiles: Home or Work, Driving or Travelling. Within each of these you can preset location polling interval times, minimum distance required to trigger location updates, ‘fallbacks’ for when GPS is either disabled or falls out and whether you should only use Wi-Fi/3G for updates. Additionally you can decide whether you want the client to sync with Latitude continuously or when you get back on a Wi-Fi connection.
I did find this a little confusing at first. This might be because I have not used Latitude very much previously, so this was a new arena to me. However, there are various ‘?’ tabs in the profiles screen and these explain things very well. There is additionally a ‘Help’ tab with links to email, tweet, message via Facebook or link directly to the Latify Mobile site. So help is at hand if you need it.
At any time, you can share you location in a number of ways: Twitter, Facebook, Google Buzz, SMS or Gmail. There is also a tab there to immediately sync with Latitude.
Brilliantly, Latify comes with 3 different widgets. There’s one which tells your location/address, one which lets you adjust polling interval and one which lets you toggle between profiles. Each widget actually looks very polished and cool. I dismay sometimes at apps which are great, but the widgets look utterly rubbish. Latify widgets however look rich and professional (like something you actually want on your home screen!)
Personally I think the coolest feature is the history playback. This lets you not only see the places you have been, but play the locations back. I imagine if you had the kind of evening where your memory lets you down as to your exact whereabouts (imagine that movie The Hangover!), this might come in very useful indeed. All you need to do here is specify the date and time for when you want it to start and finish and it plays back your movements. While this might jump around a little depending on how the app located you, it’s pretty accurate and smooth.
Watch on Mobile
Latify – Map view 2
Latify – History playback. Retrace your steps!
Latify – Profiles
Latify – Tabs which explain what functions do when you are creating profiles.
Latify – Three widgets
Latify – Authorization page
Latify – Help and contacts
Latify – Preferences
For big Latitude users, this Latify is very useful in providing more control over your experience. The profiles help you define how and when you use the service, and ultimately saves battery life.
Ease of Use:
For a Latitude novice, it is a bit complex, but the in-app help and advice- including links to Latify Twitter, Facebook and website is reassuring. The extra feature of the widgets, once you are set up, makes things far easier too.
Many people use Latitude all the time, letting it monitor their whereabouts and share their locations. The feature-rich nature of Latify means it may well replace your usage of the Latitude app, so it could easily become a daily/hourly used application for many people.
The interface is quite rich and easy to use. I think the widgets look very nice and really compliment your home screen rather than being the kind you prefer to hide away.