Google is Killing Latitude, Get Your Contacts Out Now

Google likes to refer to the death of its products by the friendly name of “spring cleaning”, but killing apps always leaves behind angry customers. There was no better example of that than July 1st when the search giant executed its Reader service causing quite a stir around the internet.

The next victim of Google’s cruelty will be Latitude, though this will cause much less hand-wringing than Reader brought about. Still, the app no doubt has its fans. The announcement came as part of the new Maps update released today.

“Google Latitude will be retired on August 9th, 2013. Products being retired include Google Latitude in Google Maps for Android, Latitude for iPhone, the Latitude API, the public badge, the iGoogle Gadget, and the Latitude website at maps.google.com/latitude. We’ll delete your list of friends on Latitude. You won’t be able to see or manage friends. Any existing friends will no longer see your location in Google Maps for mobile on Android, Latitude for iPhone, the public badge, the iGoogle Gadget, and the Latitude website at maps.google.com/latitude, if you continue to use these products”.

Customers have just under one month to prepare for the Latitude departure, which takes place on August 9th of this year. Like all of the Google services, there is a way to get your data out before the switch is thrown and it all disappears. Here are the steps you will need to follow to save your information.

1. Latitude contacts are part of a hidden Gmail group, so it makes this process a bit more difficult than simply going to Takeout. Point your browser to this Google Contacts page.

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2. Select “all contacts” (meaning all are checked).

3. Now click the “More” button and then “Export” to bring up the following dialog box.

latitude export

4. You will need to choose your options, but the defaults will likely work for most everyone — that would mean all of your contacts sent to a CSV file, which is made for import into your Google (Gmail) account. If you prefer, you could also export a CSV file for your Outlook app.

Since Latitude location data is used by Google Maps, it will continue to be retained, but Google promises that your location history will remain private and protected. The clock is ticking on your data.

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