Google Maps updated: check in with Google LatitudeGoogle Maps 5.1 for Android has just unleashed the power of Google Latitude, connecting your location to a real place with check ins. If you’re an Android user, it’s time to update Google Maps and start sharing your location.

Unlike other check in methods, Google Latitude support for Google Maps introduces a few twists. First, you have the option of enabling check-in notifications in Latitude’s settings so that you’ll constantly receive alerts.

The next twist is automatic check-ins. Instead of manually checking in, simply add locations to your approved list and Latitude will do the rest. The final twist is automatic check outs. When you leave a location, your friends will be notified so they aren’t guessing whether or not you’re still around.

Google Maps 5.1 for Android is just the start. Later this week, Google has promised we’ll have access to our complete history of check-ins using the optional History tab at google.com/latitude from our computer. Also, iPhone users who have the new Latitude app for iPhone will be able to see their friends’ check-ins. An updated version of Google Maps for iPhone with check-in capability is “coming soon”.

Google Maps updated: check in with Google Latitude

You can download the Google Maps 5.1 for Android from the Android Market and then join Latitude from the main menu. If you are currently using your Android smartphone (running Android 1.6+ or higher) you can click here to download the update.

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