Google yesterday pumped out a new location-based update to its suite of mobile applications, this time for the latest iteration of Apple's iPhone software.
Search with My Location for iPhone 3.0 lets users enter search queries from their iPhone, and receive results that home in on their location to find local businesses.
Yes, Google's My Location tool uses that cell tower triangulation technology to find you from your mobile phone, a tool that was controversial when Google announced it in 2007. Don't panic. This is opt-in.
Users who go to www.google.com from the Apple Safari browser on their iPhone 3.0 must turn on My Location from a link on the home page, or the app won't locate you via your phone. Users can also disable the feature from Preferences at the bottom of the home page whenever they're feeling watched.
The prompt will be: "New! Try My Location to find restaurants, shops and bars near you!" When you click on this, the iPhone will pop open a dialogue asking if it's okay for Safari to use the device's location services to locate you, noted TechCrunch's MG Siegler.
When you tap on the "update" link, your location will be updated and displayed right there on the home page. As you wander around the city or suburb, just keep hitting the "update" link, and ideally you'll get results for some local businesses and other venues you're trying to find.
Search with My Location from Safari is available in English in the United States and UK, with support for other countries and languages soon.
The search tool comes a week after the search giant reverse-engineered its My Location technology to work on desktops and laptops so that users can track their location from their work or home computers with a single mouse click.
Now users who visit Google Maps will see the My Location blue circle in the top left corner of the map. Click this button to center the map to your location. If your location can be determined accurately enough, it's shown with a blue circle, just like on Google Maps for Mobile.
Just another way for Google to help you find yourself in the digital world. Google has to keep people in position to see its advertising, so it needs to make sure users can use its Web services anytime, anyplace.