Introducing the new Local Search for Mobile

Wednesday, September 30, 2009 | 2:00 PM

The mobile search team is always looking for new ways to make searching the world around you as easy and useful as searching the web. Today we're introducing a redesigned local search experience on your phone that integrates with Google Maps on your computer and includes browseable categories that let you search without typing. Let me tell you how I used these features on my recent vacation to Hawaii.

Before I left, I researched places to visit on Google Maps. I signed in to my Google account and starred the places I wanted to go. Once I got to Hawaii, by signing in on my phone, I was able to see the places I starred on desktop Maps under "Starred Places". I could then click through on place names to visit mobile-optimized versions of Place Pages for Google Maps that include opening hours, reviews, photos, and more.


The new category browse feature made it easy to find a place to rent bicycles for a quick tour of the coastline. I just tapped on "Entertainment & Recreation" and then "Bicycles" to execute a search — no typing necessary. When it was time for scuba diving, I didn't see an appropriate category, so I started typing "SCUBA" in the search box and clicked on a suggestion for "Scuba Tour Agency". A few hours later, I was petting a white-tipped reef shark!

Of course, local search isn't only useful when you're traveling — here's an example of planning a birthday party in my hometown, San Francisco:



To access these features on your mobile device, go to www.google.com/m/local, or just click on the Local tab on www.google.com. The product is available in the US and China, with more regions coming soon.

10 comments:

Christina said...

This is awesome and SO useful! Can't wait to use it!

Deepak said...

So, this is independent of mobile google maps? that doesn't make sense.

Nathan said...

Doesn't seem to work on the Blackberry Browser, is that not supported?

DamnedViper said...

Great feature!!!!!!!!!! but why the person in video is consistently smiling for 2mins and 17secs........??????? is it a disease????

Brian said...

Nice. We definitely needed a way to keep favorites on here and mobile. But the main problem I see is this only works for businesses. I tried to star a friends house address and that didn't work (on mobile). Ideally, this would also be integrated in future releases of Google Maps for Android.

Darek said...

That feature of search subcategories was so long awaited so that is quite encouraging to see it finally coming. I guess much more to follow ... (turn-by-turn support and offline download of a trip map will be the next, please?)

Stefan said...

So when will this come to applications? I would like to star locations in my browser, even add notes, and then launch the Google Maps application for my Nokia E71 and have those details available at my finger tips.

Ian M said...

+1 for integrating this with the Google Maps app for Android!

Miguel said...

Please integrate this into the Google search widget in Android, Google Maps for Android, and Google Places for Android!

Carlos said...

Ok, this is great, but it is not working on google.co.uk!