Google Enhances Local Search with Mobile Search “Near Me Now” Option

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Google has officially released the much-anticipated “Near Me Now” search option they debuted in December at the Computer History Museum.  A post by John Eric Hoffman and Jussi Myllymaki on the Google Mobile Blog officially launched the new option.

The option is for mobile search and functions on both the iPhone and the Android platforms.  Going to Google.com on either of these devices will show a tiny “Near Me Now” option underneath the search box.  This ads your current geo-location to your search query, making finding things nearby much easier.

So rather than Google Mapping your location and trying to figure out where you’re supposed to be going, for instance, you could instead just put in the name of the location (“PizzaRulesThePlanet Pizzaria”) and use the Near Me Now option to find it.  More useful, it can help you find items near you that you might not have thought of when planning your route to start with or a quick way to find lunch or a coffee while in a strange city or location.

The uses are pretty limitless and it’s very cool that these geo-location apps are becoming more and more prevalent.   A couple of days ago, we told you about Foursquare going global, which is another step in the emerging geo-loc phenom.

The new Google function works only in the US, but plans for European and Asian releases are forthcoming.  As Mashable’s Jennifer Van Grove points out, this may be a part of a small war happening between geo-location platforms, though I would think that if that were the case, Google would be more actively working towards replacement of Foursquare, though this new add-on may be a Yelp-killer.

Here’s video from Google on how Near Me Now works:


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