A Google logo is seen at the entrance to the company's offices in TorontoThere are new things coming to the US and UK versions Google Maps for Android, including more content, filters and personalization to the “Explore” feature in the app.  According to Google, several markets (San Francisco, New York City and London) will begin getting new “curated recommendations” about nearby dining options:

Once you pick the category that suits your craving, you can see in-depth details about each location. Swipe through photos, get details (family-friendly? quick bite?), and check out ratings and reviews from Google and other diners. And for select spots, you also discover why it may be particularly relevant to you. For example, Google Maps may recommend a place that’s popular with other diners who visited a place you’ve been to in the past.


What Explore does is translate your more conventional and possibly cumbersome query in a box experience into a mobile-friendly discover capability, which taps into high-intent local browsing.  In the past, Google had said that the number of searches using the keywords “nearby” or “near me” have increased 34 times since 2011.  What Explore does is to partly respond to those trends.


What’s neat about Explore is that the recommendations that it gives you will supposedly change depending on your location, as well as the time of day.  There are other variables that could go into the recommendations that Explore gives you.  It’s possible to adjust the filters so that it will generate totally different results as well.

Until now, with the capabilities that are being introduced into Explore, it has been buried in Google Maps.  But now, we should begin seeing a lot more of Explore when we use Google Maps to check out the places around us.

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