I wanted to take a moment to start a thread on for the Android application (2.2+) Backitude: Configurable Background Location Tracking. I would like a place to discuss the app publicly, discuss troubleshooting solutions, bugs, or motivate ideas and improvements.
Check out the Full version, ad-free available for free in the Android Market/Google Play store:
Download here: Backitude: Configurable Background Location Tracking
EDIT: Google Latitude shutdown their API on Aug 9, 2013 which completely changes the makeup of the application. Its sole purpose was to send locations to Google in order to maintain an accurate and timely history with Latitude. Now, it will be more geared towards keeping its own history and integrating with a number of systems or personal custom servers.
Backitude provides a bundle of extended features and functionality for updating Google Latitude locations from your Android device. If you are a Google Latitude user or once had interest in the concept of Google Latitude, then Backitude is an essential addon. Background gps location updating at your own specified time interval is now within your realm. Backitude expands your updating options, accuracy, and even allows you and your friends to force updates on eachother when needed, all seamlessly behind the scenes.
I created this app about a couple years ago to address two issues: I wanted to fix the short-comings of Google Latitude and make it a plausible application for users to enjoy and utilize effectively and efficiently. Also, I wanted to provide Google Play Store with such functionality free of charge. At the time, no such free application existed.
Google Latitude is somewhat inadequate on its own, but this is of no fault of the Google developers. They designed the application with battery efficiency as a number 1 priority. The conserve battery, Latitude on its own does not update locations in the background using GPS for accurate reporting. Instead it relies on Wi-Fi and cell tower triangulation to determine your location. Since many users refrain from enabling Wi-Fi when not stationary in their own network, or since Wi-Fi cannot be obtained while travelling, the resulting location updates are large, inaccurate "blue circles" on the map. Cycling through your Latitude friends, I mostly would see large, city-wide, inaccurate location readings- like I said, therefore truly defeating the purpose of Latitude. Latitude also fails to give the user any configurable options to location reporting. What good is a location history if majority of the values are city level and inaccurate? Backitude, to the rescue.
Backitude was designed to address all of this and put the power back into the hands of the user. You have complete control what, when, and how to update. Power can be a dangerous thing however. Google chose not to give the user a chance to configure their settings and risk draining batteries and having Android or Google products labelled as "battery drainers." Backitude is for the intelligent user, to know how to manage their battery, know their priorities, and know the effect of such functions. GPS polling is a very battery-intensive maneuver!
The final issue and gap Backitude inspired to bridge is updating a friend's location. It is great to have control over your location updates and allowing your friends to see exactly where you are, but what if they haven't updated recently or exactly when you needed to know their location? Backitude has an answer for that. "Fire an Update on a Friend" is the newest feature which utilizes SMS messaging to receive requests from other Backitude users. If your friend is also using Backitude and has this option enabled, you can send a request to their device which will in turn trigger an update at that very moment.
Additionally, there are many, many more features that all serve to give the user complete control of Latitude updates and battery consumption (in the context of Latitude updating). Thank you for checking it out, and I look forward to supplying any troubleshooting information right here for all to find, and hear ideas and feedback from those other enthusiasts out there.