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January 8, 2010

Google's Mobile Homepage Shows Nearby Places

Google's mobile homepage for iPhone and Android phones added a cool feature that shows a list of points of interest near you. The page can already find your location, so you only need to click on a category or to select "Explore right here".

"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," explains Google.

This is a good example of "queryless" search. Google can provide a list of relevant results just by knowing your location.

Apparently, this feature is available in the US for iPhone OS 3.0+ and Android 2.0.1+, but I managed to enable it outside of US by setting the region format to "United States" and by updating the location.


  1. Til it's available in Romania.... we have to wait a lot more

  2. @necenzurat:

    I've just tried the feature and it works well. If you have an iPhone, go to Settings/General/International and set "region format" to "United States". Then visit, click on "settings" and enable "allow use of device location". Reload Google's homepage and it should detect your location. Sometimes it's necessary to click on "update" to refresh the location.

  3. Can't see it. Have taken the steps you suggested and is finding my correct location, but the extra bits aren't there. I'm signed in and viewing in Mobile (not Classic format). Don't know what's up. I'm in Australia - don't know if that has any impact.

    Anyway, will keep trying it. Do you know if its any different from the "Around Me" app?

  4. its available on mobile site for me too. I live in Malta, South Europe and it found places in my country easily. My account settings location is set to Malta too not US.

  5. This brings lots of privacy issues! Google already tried to get 24/7 access to your location with Latitude which was supposed to be optional and now this.

    Not going for Android anytime soon!

  6. @scroogle

    The page explicitly asks if you want to tell it your location. It's highly optional


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