Google launches find-a-friend nearby service

This looks pretty neat – Google Latitude is basically a service which allows you to see if any of your friends are nearby, so if you’re bored or whatever you can hook up with them.

I’ve tried services like this before (most significantly Brightkite) but they never seem to have gained enough acceptance to make it worth my while – none of my friends for example are signed up to it. Google might just have the weight behind them to make it happen.

Some problems that I can see that make it a bit less ideal though:

  • you need to log in each time you use it (so if you are looking for a mate that may be nearby, they not only have to be nearby but logged in too)
  • you need to have the contacts in your GMail address book (not that big a deal, but I don’t, and it gives me another syncing nightmare to keep them up to date with Me.com)
  • it’s yet another set-up / invite process to annoy people with – wouldn’t it be better coming from Facebook to avoid having to do all that?
  • there doesn’t seem an easy way to access it from a computer, unless you go through Google’s iGoogle service which I don’t use and don’t really like

Google Latidude is available now at www.google.com/latitude for Blackberrys, Nokia Smartphones and Windows mobile Devices. An iPhone version is on the way apparently.