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Google Latitude for Android now lets you track your friends' locations in real time

Google Maps for Android just got a big update, including the ability to read and add reviews of a place using Google's recently-launched Place pages, the ability to search for nearby and currently open businesses, and -- most interesting of all -- real-time tracking of your friends' locations in Google Latitude.

Latitude is Google's location-tracking service, which up until now has let you quickly share your location with your trusted friends, or publish it to your blog, but it's never caught on the way more game-centric location apps like Foursquare and Gowalla have. Latitude reported 3 million active users earlier this year, but Foursquare has since passed it up, aided by the launch of Facebook Places.

This update to the Google Maps Android app gives Latitude something the other guys don't have: the ability to temporarily see a friend's location in real time, instead of just when they manually check in. Click on a friend, and you'll get much faster location updates from them while you're trying to meet up. Making the real-time service temporary helps reduce worries about constant stalking, while still helping you find your friends. To make this work, you and your friends will both need the new Google Maps 4.6 and Android 2.2 or higher.

Tags: android, google, google latitude, google maps, GoogleLatitude, GoogleMaps, latitude, location-based