Google Brings Location Info to iPhone's Safari

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Tom Keating
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Google Brings Location Info to iPhone's Safari

google-iphone-local-search2.jpg Google just added location info to Safari on the iPhone allowing you to see local businesses very quickly with a simple search. For instance, search on "coffee" and see the closest coffee shops or search on fast food places like Burger King or McDonald's. You can see local results (Norwalk, CT) in the screenshot to the right, along with the ability to manually enter a location, update current location

It works with the new iPhone 3.0 software. All you have to do is go to Google's homepage in Safari and you'll see text that reads, "New! Try My Location to find restaurants, shops and bars near you!"

When you attempt to allow Google to use your location info within Safari for the first time, the iPhone will pop open the usual message about sharing your location info with Safari which you have to accept or reject.

After accepting, you'll see a dot below the search box with your location info. Next, perform a search and Google will return local results. Even cooler, it appears to work in the popular Google app for the iPhone as well, which I prefer for quick local lookups since it supports fast (and accurate I might add) speech recognition searches as seen here:
Since Safari runs in the background this could potentially open the door to some interesting location-based services (LBS), since the alternative is 3rd party iPhone location apps which must remain running in the foreground, thus limiting their usefulness. In theory, a developer could write a hosted web app that tracks your current location and shares it with your spouse or buddy list. One could hope such an app is forthcoming - or maybe not depending on your privacy perspective.

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