Yesterday afternoon, Google unveiled a portable version of its new social-networking, Twitter-killing Google Buzz, which is available for Google Android and the Apple iPhone. Once you've figured out how Google Buzz works, the mini-version is actually a breeze.Most folks will probably opt for the sleek Google Buzz app, which you operates a little like Facebook Mobile – you can check status updates, post your own status updates, or complain about the new season of "Lost."
But the best feature of Google Buzz is the new layer of Google Maps. Let's say you're in Manhattan, enjoying a nice dinner, and you're thinking about getting a cup of coffee. You could turn on your mobile phone, which would find your exact location, and allow you to peruse buzz about the nearest coffee shop. Or you might want to leave your own mark on the map – maybe a note about that sushi roll you just devoured.
The mobile version of Google Buzz also lets you track the location of your friends, based on their latest blast of buzz. To some journalists, of course, this is troubling news. At the Huffington Post, Larry Magid argues that Google Buzz for mobile could let any of your friends find out exactly where you are, at any time of the day. Problematic, if you're one of those very private people. Of course, there will be options to turn off the feature.
Google, however, sees the GPS functionalities of Google Buzz to be one of the platform's key attributes.
"With Buzz for mobile, we hope you can start interesting conversations about places and be more spontaneous when you are out and about," Google's Punit Singh Soni wrote on the Google Mobile blog. "How many times have you missed a fun event, even though it was nearby? Or a better choice of dessert, just because you didn't know about it?"