If you’ve recently updated your Google Maps and Google+, and you want Google Latitude functionality but found that there was nothing but a blank grid when you went to look at Locations, then we might have a fix for you now.
The problem of no background on Google+ Locations evidently stems from devices in which Google Maps or Google+ was not a preinstalled/system application, and the fix is simply to make Google+ a system application. If you’re on an AOSP ROM, or had to flash a GApps package, you’re most likely experiencing this issue. This also affects some ROMs that were based off of stock, as I had this problem with a MeanBean Sense ROM.
The workaround was found and posted by Google+ user Claude A Robinson III, and there are a few ways to do it: either via ADB, a root-enabled file explorer of some sort, or potentially Titanium Backup. In all cases, you’ll have to be rooted for this to work, and in all cases it’s a good idea to make a nandroid backup in case something goes horribly, horribly wrong.
Connect to your device via ADB and execute the following commands:
mount -orw,remount /system
busybox mv /data/app/com.google.android.apps.plus-1.apk /system/app
busybox mv /data/app-lib/com.google.android.apps.plus-1/* /system/lib
After that reboot and you should be good.
Note: On some devices, you’ll need to addd “plus-2” to the name of the application. On my device, the above worked properly.
Also note: if you don’t have BusyBox installed, you can attempt just typing the commands to the right of it. My HTC EVO 4G LTE has the mv command installed with the ROM I’m using, but your ROM may vary. You can also grab BusyBox from Google Play.
Individual file explorers will vary, but the basics are the same. You’ll need to make sure that /system is mounted as read/write.
Browse to /data/app and cut the com.google.android.apps.plus-1.apk, then go to /system/app and paste it. Browse back to /data/app-lib/com.google.android.apps.plus-1/, select all the files in that directory, and paste them into /system/lib/.
While I haven’t had a chance to test this out, you should be able to open Titanium Backup, long press Google+, and choose “Convert to system app”.
Google has developed this running trend of pushing products that aren’t quite ready out the door on hundreds of millions of users. In this case, the bug mostly affects root users, but also seems to be affecting quite a few unrooted ASUS and Samsung device owners, as well. The rooted folks can fix it themselves, but you’ll most likely have to wait until Google pushes a fix for the Google+ Locations if you’re unrooted.
Thanks, Brian Witt!