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Google "Explore right here" screen  (Source: Google)
Google improves local search for iPhone and Android

Google is always working to add new features and services to its offerings to make searching for location about places and locations in the users local area easier. Google has been busy recently expanding its horizons with new endeavors like Google Energy and the company has just announced a new local search service.

The local search service is called "Near me now" and the goal is to make it easier and quicker for users to find places and information about places near them. The service is accessible by going to Google.com on the iPhone or Android devices and clicking on the "Near me now" button once the phone provides your location.

Google says the new service is intended to address two issues for mobile searchers. The service will provide information about businesses near you and lets users get more information on whatever they are in front of with a "explore right here" option. Using the latter option the user would be able to get reviews on a restaurant they are in front before going in.

The "Near me now" option would let the user find places like coffee shops that are in their immediate vicinity without having to be in front of one at the time. There are a few caveats to the new services. First, the services only work if the location service is enabled on the iPhone or Android devices. The "Explore right here" option only works if the handset provides an accurate location to one city block.

The iPhone also has to be running OS 3.x or higher and Android devices need to be on 2.0.1 or later. Google unveiled its Nexus One Android phone recently and the device will work with the new features.



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Minority Report
By jdietz on 1/11/2010 12:34:38 PM , Rating: 2
Does anyone think this is getting a little close to the scene in Minority Report where Tom Cruise walks past a store and receives an ad?




RE: Minority Report
By Qapa on 1/11/2010 12:46:04 PM , Rating: 5
We're getting there... just sit back... and enjoy...
(there is no preventing it...)


RE: Minority Report
By MasterBlaster7 on 1/11/2010 12:50:57 PM , Rating: 2
If they could do the minority report thing, they would do it tomorrow. Don't think that they don't have people working around the clock trying to make that a reality.

I'll tell google what I want. And knowing google, they might just listen. I want a little magnifying glass cursor in google earth that allows me to mouse over something and hit "what is this". There are a ton of little building in little shopping malls around my place I would love to just individually find out about. Sure you can type in a place and google will show you all locations on the map. But, I would like that little magnifying glass cursor for better precision and better ability to remember what is right around me.


RE: Minority Report
By Gul Westfale on 1/11/2010 1:16:03 PM , Rating: 2
adblock for mobile? they could make millions.


RE: Minority Report
By GaryJohnson on 1/11/2010 1:29:20 PM , Rating: 2
If ads were used to reduce the cost of service or devices then I'm all for it.

If someone, like google, started selling ad-supported devices without contracts for prices that compete with the cellular w/ contract prices then it could be a way to get the devices out of the hands of the providers. I'd rather have ads than contracts.


RE: Minority Report
By SublimeSimplicity on 1/11/2010 1:38:14 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
I want a little magnifying glass cursor in google earth


Just promise you won't hold it in one place too long and start setting people on fire like ants.


RE: Minority Report
By bupkus on 1/11/2010 2:46:46 PM , Rating: 2
funny. +1


RE: Minority Report
By DarkElfa on 1/11/2010 4:49:53 PM , Rating: 2
Seconded.


RE: Minority Report
By cocoviper on 1/11/2010 7:35:04 PM , Rating: 2
What's the problem with targeted ads specifically?

-They're based on data you've already voluntarily put into the cloud. I.e. if privacy is your concern, don't use social networking and search engines where you voluntarily tell Google and others about yourself

-You get advertisements for products you might actually like, want, and use. I personally would be much happier if all the ads on the internet and TV were about new laptops, home theater hardware, food I like, games I might want to read reviews of, etc... than the current state where I have to watch feminine hygiene ads...

-The advertiser gets to make more effective use of their advertising dollars thus increasing the likelihood of finding people that actually benefit from using their product and opening additional resources either for profit, or for R&D to compete and develop better products down the road.

Seems like everyone wins to me...


confused
By rzrshrp on 1/11/2010 1:02:36 PM , Rating: 2
Not sure if I fully understand. Google search was already "location aware" on my phone. It seems to make proximity a factor when ranking search results. How is this very different?




RE: confused
By Gul Westfale on 1/11/2010 1:19:40 PM , Rating: 3
it has a better marketing name, and as we all know, that is what really matters.

consumer: "wow, look at that ugly-as-sin piss-poor excuse for a car with the toxic batteries!"

PR guy: "it's called a hybrid!"

consumer: "OMGOMG I CAN HAZ HYBRIDZ PLS?"


Bing ripoff?
By Spivonious on 1/11/2010 11:38:52 AM , Rating: 2
Hasn't Bing done this since launch?




RE: Bing ripoff?
By quiksilvr on 1/11/2010 12:15:54 PM , Rating: 2
No, shut up, you're not suppose to talk bad about Google! (they're watching o.O)


By Donovan on 1/12/2010 11:19:27 AM , Rating: 3
Beer Me Now.

Same idea, but limits search to pubs and liquor stores.




Heh
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 1/11/2010 11:27:22 AM , Rating: 2
"Are you near me now? Good!"




ATMs & Banks...
By bupkus on 1/11/2010 2:57:22 PM , Rating: 2
ATMs & Banks...

Oh, man, John Dillinger would have just loved this feature. ;)

This could be a lot of fun.
Alternate categories:
Brothels
High Crime Area
Crazy Bag Lady Reports

Peeps could connect this to Twitter where individuals can place personal experiences...

High "scoring" bars...

Go ahead, add some I didn't think of... :D




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