Google has rolled out a new version of Google Maps for Android which adds support for check-ins. Google Maps has had a Latitude service for almost 2 years, letting you see where your contacts are in real-time. But now you can also see where they’ve been, thanks to check-ins.
The check-ins will also let you add photos, captions, and other data. Because Google Latitude can already automatically track your location, you can set it to automatically check-you in at places you designate, and check out when you leave as well. You can also receive notifications asking if you want to check-in as you approach your favorite coffee shop.
Aside from any social karma you might get (or incur as the case may be), by sharing your travel and/or dining habits, Google Latitude supports the same kind of competitive check-ins you’ll find in services such as Foursquare and Gowalla. The more frequently you check-in to a location, the higher your rank will go, from Regular, to VIP, to Guru.
Google hasn’t said anything about coupons, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see companies start to offer discounts to customers who check-in regularly.
The check-in service is built into the latest version of Google Maps for Android, but it’s opt-in, which means if you’d rather not broadcast your location to the world, you don’t have to.