Places Directory app for Android

Tuesday, June 2, 2009 | 11:58 AM

As an engineer based in Taipei, I frequently travel to Google headquarters in Mountain View. When I'm there, I'm always looking for local businesses to try out, like coffee shops and restaurants. I also forget where the banks and ATM's are. While Search and Maps can help me find the information I need, it's nice to have the option to browse a directory of places, as well. For instance, if I need some money, do I search for an ATM or a bank? If I had a short list of business categories to choose from, I could just scan it to choose the right one. After talking to some colleagues, we decided to devote our 20% time to building an Android application that figures out what places are nearby and arranges them in a directory format. Friends and colleagues tested the app and found it handy, so we decided to launch "Places Directory" on Android Market as a Google Labs product.

As the name implies, Places Directory allows you to browse nearby places in categories like Restaurants, Movie Theaters, Hotels and Banks. You'll see distance and directions to the destination, and if you tap on the listing, we'll show ratings and photos. You can also call the business or view its location on Google Maps.



To download Places Directory to your Android-powered phone, search for "Places Directory" on Android Market. We currently support US English and Chinese. Try it out and let us know what you think by providing feedback in the comments below. In the meantime, I look forward to going back to Mountain View and finding some good local restaurants.

20 comments:

Xoxe said...

Installing, thanks very much for this app!

Jonno! said...

Is this what's called Footprints on the new Hero build? Or based on the same premise I guess?

Paul said...

Don't punch me but can I have something like this for the iPhone?

John Incantalupo said...

I live in a small town of 20,000 in Northwest, NJ and was impressed with the amount of info the app provided in the immediate vicinity - keep up the good work Google - give us more apps for Android!!!!!

Tenkely said...

This app is wonderful! Great job guys and gals!

Jonathan said...

Very nice. If you could combine this app with the complete database of yahoo yellowpages (they have categories for _everything_) then I would declare this the perfect app!

Javier Ojuel said...

I suppose that this application have access to the same information as Google Maps. So it will have information for other countries (not only USA), isn't it?

Will said...

very cool! - i love the way all the little direction arrows move as you turn around...

it would be great if there was a "map" option at the list stage as well so you could see where the top 5 or so in the list were on the map at the same time.

Zeeforel said...

Where does the information in Places come from and where can I input a review?

Tim said...

add some ugc, integrate with Streetview and Brightkite etc. and this is a killer app.

Isma said...

Please keep publishing this kind of applications for Android. It is one of the applications I have been looking for. There are other alternatives but, this one works great :)

It is a pleasure to use google applications for android ;)

www.arcagility.com said...

Please gave as one Google Android car for Serbia .... :)
Can we make some idea for this solution :)

KC said...

Would you please kindly develop the iPhone version? After all, there existed a lot of iPhone users.

Fabio said...

Very nice app! Please do something similar for S60 and other smartphones, too ;)

- H. A. said...

Now all we need is transit directions for Android... just like BB and iPhone! Please?!

Brian said...

Hey, I recognize those downtown Mountain View bars!

Nice app, just installed in and will give it a test drive. Keep up the good work!

Mike said...

This is a great app (5 stars)! But I wish it could be somehow combined with the Wikitude AR app - specifically, that app's amazing "augmented reality" camera feature.

Santiago said...

Wonderful application, just what I was waiting for! One suggestion for future upgrades, would it be possible that favorite places in places directory would be sync'ed with starred places in google maps? That way user could access or create favorite from either android device or any other computer.

nick said...

Great app. Is there any way to help improve results? Businesses in downtown Atlanta are always in flux and it would be nice to help improve the search results so that no one tries to go to the defunct Mocha Delites or KFC on Broad.

Ken said...

You know, this app has potential, but falls short.

For example, I can't recommend corrections when businesses like chiropractors are listed in "bars." Nor can I add ratings, reviews, etc.

There's no function to just see a map of area restaurants. You can't get showtimes for movies. Gas stations are listed, but gas prices are not.

It's nice and all, but I expected more from Google.