Check-ins is the new black as far as location based services and social networking integration is concerned. Back in December Google updated Maps for Android to Version 5 bringing vector mapping and 3D views, and today it has been updated again to Version 5.1 bringing more Latitude location features.

You still use Latitude to automatically update and share your location, but now instead of just a point on a map, you can let your friends see what restaurant or shop you’re in.

Not your typical check-ins
Because you can use Latitude to automatically detect your location, we’ve added a few twists to checking in to make it really easy:

  • Notifications: Turn on check-in notifications in Latitude’s settings and get a notification to check in at a nearby place once you arrive. Never forget to check in again.
  • Automatic check-ins: Choose to automatically check in at specific places you designate, and you’ll be checked in when you’re there. You can talk to friends or finish your bagel without fumbling with your phone.
  • Check out: Once you leave, Latitude knows to automatically check you out of places so friends aren’t left guessing if you’re still there.

There’s a video demo after the break: