New Explore button on Google Maps instantly localizes user experience

As reported by VentureBeat this week, Google’s mobile mapping fronts the list of applications that have propelled Now, Google’s voice/personalization app, from obscurity to a shade better performance than deeply loved Siri on iOS. Now (not the voice app, but like, right now), Google is going hyperlocal with a new Explore button. So says Taj Campbell, Google Maps product manager, in a tip to VB.

Warning: Google Map users not running iOS or Android won’t see the button. Instead, legions of PC users running Windows have a Search Nearby button that is an empty search window waiting for a written prompt like “sports bar” or “thin crust pizza.” Oh, so last month.

Using a friend’s iPhone, I talked her into loading Google Maps. She looked for the new Explore button. She didn’t find an actual labeled button, but a new icon button instead. After searching for “Davis, California”, she then pressed the new icon. The result is oh, so this month.

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