After Google’s acquisition, Dodgeball seemed to get lost in the fray and Google never did anything with it, leading to a public blog post on why the founders quit.
It’s no real secret that Google wasn’t supporting dodgeball the way we expected. The whole experience was incredibly frustrating for us – especially as we couldn’t convince them that dodgeball was worth engineering resources, leaving us to watch as other startups got to innovate in the mobile + social space. And while it was a tough decision (and really disappointing) to walk away from dodgeball, I’m actually looking forward to getting to work on other projects again.
Recently, Google started cutting a number of their properties/features. The Dodgeball site warns that the site will be shut down in stages.
This prompted Dodgeball cofounder, Dennis Crowley to say:
So whatâ€™s next? Well I donâ€™t know how many days we have left (30 days? 90 days?), but Iâ€™ve always said that it Google ever kills dodgeball, Iâ€™l build you guys a new one, so stayed tuned.
Google Latitude appears to be another way for users to hook up based on feedback from Google users who wanted to find their friends on a map. It also allows you to provide a short status similar to Facebook or Twitter. It uses maps instead of SMS as the interface and can be accessed either from your desktop’s web browser or from a phone by visiting google.com/latitude in your phone’s browser (it is unclear when/if this could be integrated in a future firmware upgrade for the iPhone to integrate into the Google Maps Application rather than requiring access through a browser but it is easily foreseeable having his integrated into the Android phone OS at a minimum).
Greg Sterling provides us with more details at SEL. including a statement that Latitude is not based on prior technologies (i.e. Dodgeball or Jaiku) but utilizes their triangulation/GPS capabilities.
Google Latitude is a feature of Google Maps for mobile on these phones:
- Android-powered devices, such as the T-Mobile G1
- iPhone and iPod touch devices (coming soon)
- most color BlackBerry devices
- most Windows Mobile 5.0+ devices
- most Symbian S60 devices (Nokia smartphones)
- many Java-enabled (J2ME) mobile phones, such as Sony Ericsson devices (coming soon)