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the friend tracking feature seems similar to Glympse, which I've used a lot:

http://www.glympse.com/

sharing your location for a set time is really useful




I guess with all the toddlers supposedly owning iPods/iPhones/iPads, this has some valid use cases. But actively supporting personal surveillance systems seems like a weird move to me after the media hubbub about the location cache.

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Yes, this is something people legitimately want. There are lots of occasions where I will go somewhere with friends/spouse and want to wander but occasionally sync up or know where someone else is. It sure beats SMSing "where R U" messages back and forth.

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I guess I edited my posting while your were answering, sorry about that.

I clarified that I am actually more worried about the public reaction to this rather than legitimate use cases. Not really worried, just, why not leave it at a third party app?

To answer my own question, Apple's solution has probably both more polish and more lock-in power, just as with iMessage vs WhatsApp & Co.

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The killer feature Glympse appears to have in comparison with iOS 5: it's cross platform. Not everyone you're going to want to sync with will have an iPhone or iPad.

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"The MBA, which has fundamentally changed the way people think about computers"...

Err, no, I really don't believe it has.

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I've got an app that does real time location sharing: http://convoyapp.net/ aimed at people driving in groups. I wonder how well this location sharing feature will compete against it, and if it makes it obsolete?

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Damn, I have never heard of glympse. I actually made my own app for this six months ago: http://l.oc8.me . Glad I'm not going to spend time creating native versions, and can move on to my next pet project. :)

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I actually like your implementation better. It's like a minimap from an RPG that shows the location of party members.

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