New Google app suggests field trip locations and restaurants near you

Saturday, September 29th, 2012 3:14:14 by

Google’s newest app will track your mobile phone’s location and tip you off when you’re near a field-trip-worthy landmark, park or restaurant.

The Field Trip app released Thursday for Android operating systems is one of a growing number of mobile apps that guess what users might want to eat, look at or do. These apps are prompting users to do those things even before they might have thought about it.

Google says the Field Trip app stays running in the background on your smartphone and will notify you when there’s a place nearby that you might like. If you like architecture, for example, you can set it to tell you when there’s an interesting building or historical site nearby.

Field Trip’s service is similar to a new function on Wednesday’s update to Foursquare’s popular check-in app, which now suggests nearby check-ins without being prompted with a location search. But Google’s app isn’t “utilitarian” like other check-in services and mapping apps, in part because Field Trip doesn’t have a search function, writes industry analyst Greg Sterling in a blog post.

“It’s also not intended for ‘planning ahead,'” writes Sterling.

Google says the app will “enrich” users’ lives. The more someone uses it, the better it gets at guessing which nearby places you’ll want to know about. “Field trip learns what you love. Thumbs up or down to tune the information discovery engine,” the company says.

The app can also notify users of nearby Google Deals, which could lead to some revenue for Google.

Google says a version for Apple’s iOS mobile operating system will be available soon.

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