Thursday, February 24, 2011 | 2:45 PM
Over the past few months, we have launched several new mobile search features for iPhone and Android-powered devices that make it easier to find local businesses. In the US, we launched an “open now” feature which lets you filter local search results to show only businesses that are open right now, based on their listed hours. When you’re hankering for pizza at 1 o’clock in the morning, this can be really handy:
Other local search options available globally include filtering by star ratings (find a highly-rated restaurant for your first date) and by distance (especially handy when you’re on foot).
You may have noticed other improvements as well, like the addition of images, reviews from around the web and bigger buttons for viewing a map or calling a business directly. Each business’s open hours are also shown in the result snippets.
If you haven’t used local search recently, now is a great time to try it out. Just go to www.google.com in your browser, tap on the “Places” link at the top of the page, and do a search. You can also access these features when searching for businesses on Google Maps for mobile on Android devices.