What’s with Google and their constant upgrades and innovations? What is it with these guys? You would think that they are trying to improve and stuff. The latest, and personally I think one of the coolest, service introductions is the “Near You Now” feature on Google.com for mobile.
It’s pretty simple. Your location is known by Google (if you allow it of course) so it simply tells you what is “near you now” with regard to restaurants, local services (i.e. animal hospitals, dentists, drugstores, gyms, parking lots etc), coffee shops, lodging, shopping and a lot more.
“Near me now” was designed to address two user problems. First, we wanted to make it fast and easy to find out more about a place in your immediate vicinity, whether you’re standing right in front of a business or if it’s just a short walk away.
Second, we wanted to make searching for popular categories of nearby places really simple. Imagine that you emerge from the subway station and you want to grab a coffee, but you don’t see a coffee shop around you. You can simply search for all nearby coffee shops by using “Near me now”. To search other categories of places not shown, “Browse more categories” provides access to our local search product with more category choices.
Pretty slick. Watch out other local apps like Yelp. This one really works although I can’t figure out why my location keeps coming up with Chinese characters but I’ll survive (neither me or my iPod have been to China unless that’s where it was “born”?). Anyway, “Near me now” is currently available in the US for iPhone (OS 3.x) or Android-powered devices with version 2.0.1 or later.
While this video demo is one of the cheesiest ever, it does show how the service works. Try to ignore the music, I dare you.