Hemisphere Aims To Replace Now-Defunct Google Latitude On Android

If you’ve been a regular user of Google Latitude, you you must have been disappointed when Google decided to retire it a couple of weeks back on the 9th of August. While there was the announcement of a replacement in form of the feature’s integration within Google+, many wanted the same old Latitude experience back. No, Google itself isn’t bringing it back any time soon in its old form but as with Google Reader, third-party developers are coming to the rescue with alternatives to keep providing users with the same experience, or as close to it as possible, and Hemisphere is one such app that brings the Latitude experience back to Android. Let’s take a closer look at the app after the jump.

When you launch the app, you’ll be greeted with the familiar-looking map interface, along with a ‘Me’ bubble representing your location. Unfortunately, none of your friends will show up here by default, and you’ll have to add them to the app from scratch. Also, they’ll themselves need to be using the same app, and approve your request to view their location before you get to seem them on the map. To add someone, simply tap the first button (from the left) in the top bar.

Hemisphere for Android 1 Hemisphere for Android 2

Here, you can tap the ‘Add some friends!’ button to start adding other users. Simply enter their email address and they’ll get added to the list. With each user, you’ll also see a button that lets you toggle location sharing with them. This way, you can individually choose which users get to see your location.


Hemisphere for Android 3 Hemisphere for Android 4

On the other user’s end, you adding them will automatically start showing your email address in the list, with location sharing disabled by default. All they need to do is toggle it on, and you’ll get to view it on your map. Getting back to the map itself, you can switch to the satellite view from the middle icon in the top bar.

Hemisphere is a free app but features ads, which you can remove by making an in-app purchase. So, if you’re missing Google Latitude and want the experience back, go ahead and grab Hemisphere from Play Store via the link provided below. Also, do let us know of your experience by leaving a comment below on whether it feels like an adequate enough replacement for the service or not.

Install Hemisphere from Play Store

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  • JC

    Useless article. Nothing in it to suggest why I would want to use this instead of Google+ Location, the replacement for Latitude.

  • Guest

    I think this makes sense to temporarily communicate my location to specific friends, as i.e. when cycling to late to a date and sharing my actual location, to keep the waiting person informed.

  • http://www.muzicman82.net Nick Marques

    Google+ Location Sharing is pretty bad… and if you’re on an AOSP ROM, it is a pain to even get working. I still haven’t even though I’ve made Google+ a system app, which is supposed to be the fix. Apparently, if Google+ isn’t a system app, you will see a contact but no map. Useless.

    I like Hemisphere but if they really want to replace Google Latitude and ultimately be useful, they need to revamp the “paid” version. It is currently a subscription and at I think $0.99/month, it’s kind of steep for such an app.

  • rshewmaker

    I just wanted to say it seems like monkeys have taken over at Google. I hate their latest versions of maps, earth, music, wallet, play. Their attempt to make everything cleaner or simpler is just making everything more complex. I spent an hour yesterday just trying to find out where they moved street view to. And, what’s up with getting us used to (or hooked for some) certain programs and then pulling them?

    • John_Skinner

      Agreed. New maps blows chunks The people at Google are idiots

    • ckes676

      i agree about the monkies, but I think they are trying to make everything like Facebook, not necessarily cleaner. It is a giant mess! Circles that connect and share content all over the place. I find it quite difficult to shut out feeds I don’t want or keep strangers from adding me to their circles. Grrrr…..

  • http://www.greggdeselms.com/ Gregg L. DesElms

    FROM THE ARTICLE: Hemisphere is a free app but features ads, which you can remove by making an in-app purchase.

    MY COMMENT: It’s not an “in-app purchase.” It’s an in-app, $.99/month, ongoing, never-ending, pay ’til you die subscription. If it were an in-app purchase — even if $2.99… heck, even if $4.99 — I would buy it. But it’s not. Users of the app need to have their eyes wide open about that.

    I told the dev that the Android world, unlike the iPhone world, is intolerant of payment, just generally; and it will simply NOT pay for subscriptions. I’ve told him that he’d actually make more money if he just charged a one-time fee, and made sure it was enough for each copy that it would actually offset the ad revenues from said copy for a couple or three years. Ad revenues per copy are so tiny that I figure a $2.99 one-time payment would more than cover it, plus allow him a little pure profit; and that at least SOME people are so hungry for a Latitude replacement that more people than he might realize would probably pay for it at that price. If he wants to encourage people to do that, though, he should provide more than just ad removal for the paid version; he should include some features that aren’t in the free version.

    Later, when demand trails off, he can lower it to $1.99… or, who knows, maybe even $.99.

    He’s also not taking into consideration what poster “JC”, here, wrote: that Google+ Location is probably good enough; and so not as many people as the dev might think will be clamoring for a Latitude replacement. Mostly only those who liked the Latitude way of doing things, and its interface, and who don’t want to change to the new Google+ method, will miss Latitude.

    The dev, I think, didn’t really do his market research.

    Let’s see, now, what, if anything, he does.

    ___________________________
    Gregg L. DesElms
    Napa, California USA
    gregg at greggdeselms dot com

  • Guest

    There are plenty of reasons to replace Google+ Locations with a functionally equivalent alternative, unfortunately this is not it, and the developer seems very stubborn about everything.

    I don’t want Google+ on my device because it is a resource hog, battery drain, and boasts all these features and menus for things I want nothing to do with. I only care about a Google Latitude-like system.

    Unfortunately, this app is no different. It locks down a lot of RAM to run, it drains the battery merely to provide horribly inaccurate and out of date location values, and it does not cache its services while running in the background. instead, the app constantly runs on the processor. It’s actually worse than just running the whole Google+ app.

    What we need is a nice lightweight solution, but I haven’t found anything yet. Backitude was perfect when it could integrate with Google. Hoping they work out a solution soon!

  • John_Skinner

    This app blows. The accuracy of this is about 20% of what Latitude was. There is no way to cycle through listed friends without doing a crap load of clicks to see they aren’t where they really are… Good idea, but really bad implementation.

  • Rick383

    PiLc is more accurate than Hemisphere and has encryption