Recently, we posted about a new feature Google was testing to help users better "explore" their surroundings, offering more fine-tuned exploration options for a user's immediate vicinity or their destination, with suggestions of what to do in the area based on time of day or conditions. The interface would apparently get its own button in Google Maps' primary view, but the button only appeared for a few users at the time. Today, Google officially announced the feature, which is continuing to roll out to more users.

In an entry to the official Google Maps blog, Google explains that the app's suggestions will indeed change based on time of day or weather conditions, and of course allows users to plan ahead by exploring "nearby" in other areas or neighborhoods.

The functionality has a considerably more refined interface than the old "explore nearby" feature, with refreshing new headers and weather information, and a new card layout that is slightly more conscious of screen space economy.

Screenshot_2014-07-23-13-54-28_framed Here_Guide-6-framed Here_Guide-4-framed

The location-aware goodness doesn't stop once you've decided on a destination, though. The functionality will continue to provide information once you get where you're going, with reviews, transit schedules, and more.

Explore 7 Screenshot_2014-07-23-13-54-44_framed areyouat_framed

For Google's full post, hit the source link below. Otherwise, Google encourages users simply to "spend more time exploring with Google Maps."

Source: Google Maps Blog

Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

  • Leon

    Apk? :)

    • Arthur

      Strange thing is we just got a Maps update a few days ago to 8.2 so i'm not sure if this is an actual version change or a change that will be seen OTA.

      • abobobilly

        Server side change.

    • sanjju simha

      it's server side push. if you've v8.2, you're good to go.

  • Arte’Vius Hardin

    Isn't this essentially what Foursquare announced their app would be doing today?

    • NSA employee #74839

      Why would you use foursquare? You do know that they are party owned by Microsoft aka spycrosoft? Do you enjoy having your private data rifled through by third parties and sold to the NSA and other businesses?


      • FrankJL

        Are you going to post the same comment everywhere?
        And please if you think Google does not turn over to got agencies.

        I have a beach condo in Arizona for sale.

      • http://www.twitter.com/italofigueired Italo F.

        And do you think Google/Apple etc. are angels?

      • Arte’Vius Hardin

        I don't use it. I was just curious of whether or not they're already facing strong competition in an area they sound excited to be in.

      • abobobilly

        Nigga plss.

        Were you born yesterday? :

      • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

        Guys I think this is a novelty account, right?

        • abobobilly

          Employee #74839. More like PRISONER #74839 :

    • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

      Kind of. This is sort of the business Foursquare has always tried to be in, and announcing the final split of their apps' functionality is a big step toward that.

    • didibus

      I feel like Foursquare missed up on so much potential and possibilities. They could have been the one stop shop for all things Looking for stuff to do and places to be, with reviews, recommendations, suggestions, etc. Oh well.

  • Chris Simms


  • RXG9

    I wish they would add zoom (+ and -) buttons...

    • Ramiro Fernandez

      Double tap and drag up or down to zoom in and out - it's easier and more precise than zoom buttons and can still be done with one hand.

    • MirandaU

      There used to be zoom buttons back in 2010. I'm so glad they're gone now. There are 3 different ways to zoom (pinch, double tap and tap and slide), no need to clutter up the place with useless buttons that were meant for devices that didn't support multi touch.

      • Ramiro Fernandez

        Am I the only one who wishes the "pinch to zoom" metaphor would disappear? It's such an unwieldy gesture to perform on a phone, and "tap and slide" might be less intuitive but so much better.
        If "pinch to zoom" disappeared maybe more apps would move to the "tap and slide" zoom metaphor.

        • Vinícius Souza

          And then we are back to old Windows Mobile 6.0 days!

          Please, no!

          • Ramiro Fernandez

            Because pinch to zoom is the only thing that separates Android from Windows Mobile 6.0?

          • Vinícius Souza

            In terms of zoom YES.

        • Segroukin

          Ok Einstein

        • DirkBelig

          >"Am I the only one who wishes the "pinch to zoom" metaphor would disappear?"

          Yes. Next question?

          • Ramiro Fernandez

            Um ok, next question: Do you actually prefer requiring two hands to do simple tasks on your phone, or do you just have freaky hands which allow you to do the pinch gesture one handed?

          • Vinícius Souza

            By the way, I love this tap and slide thing, but it's pretty bad when trying to zoom something in the bottom of a website or a map, for example.

            Both need to coexist.

  • Martin

    Us only?

    • Lukas Trombach

      Nope. Germany here and I got it on my N4 (but not on my N7).

    • XellossMetallium

      Italy too.

    • Lexcyn

      Not in Canada that's for sure.

  • BruceWillisThrowsACar@You

    Yesterday I was curious about how quick the GPS locks on, and I noticed that nearby button, and I thought, LET ME TAP IT I NEVER SAW IT BEFORE I WANT TO SEE WHAT IT DOES, and BAM, insta-joy

  • Jarrod Davis

    Hey, there's the "Are you at?" stuff you guys found the other day. Neat.

  • http://404err0r.com/ Henry Park

    So this is the data they have been mining from us Ingress users...

  • meelisv

    Now let's hope similar option to define "near you" comes to Google Now also.
    Currently Now offers me places in 5-10 miles range which is in no way nearby and totally ignores closer but bit less popular places, specially considering that Google has enough data to know that i mostly move around walking or using public transport.

  • Kostas

    Where is the explore nearby button?

  • bethcwhitehorn

    Start working at home with Google! It's by-far the best job I've had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this - 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go to tech tab for work detail

    ✒✒✒✒✒✒ jobs700.com


  • KERR

    Maybe they're trying to integrate FieldTrip into maps. I feel like FT never really took off which is unfortunate. I want it to be great but not a lot of content in Australia.

  • David Fleck

    I feel like those header images were inspired by these wallpapers I made. http://bit.ly/13IdvH0

  • Dani R.

    Am I the only one who thinks this just looks gorgeous?

  • Lexcyn

    Definitely not available in Canada. Tried moving to the USA and bam, the little icon showed up. Not even larger cities in Canada like Toronto have it available.