Google have just released Google Maps 5.3 update for Android that introduces a Google Location History dashboard, allows users to “check-in” at home, and adds the ability to specify custom “aspects” to places when rating them.
Users must first enable Location History in Google Latitude, either through the Android app or through the Google Latitude website, to begin visualising interesting trends on their location habits and patterns. From their Latitude profile, accessible within the Google Maps app, users can tap the “View location history” to see estimated statistics on the amount of time they spend at “home, work or out”.
Google have been cautious with this update regarding users’ privacy. All location history is fully opt-in and no data is ever shared with other Latitude users. Also, specific location history can be deleted at any time.
Another interesting feature with this 5.3 update is the ability to specify custom “aspects” to Google Places check-ins when rating a venue. For example, you can specify your own rating regarding the music in a pub, or the quality of the sauce in your favourite restaurant. It’s a nice feature to describe custom characteristics about places not necessarily automatically suggested by Google.
Google Latitude and Google Places are accessible either as separate Android apps, or collectively through the Google Maps app. The update can be sought in the Android Market app and, to the delight of many, works on Android Donut (version 1.6) devices and above.