How useful is an app if you don’t know it exists in the first place? App stores are great so long as you know what you’re searching for, but they have long been criticized for their ability to discover new apps. A feature announced today for the Google Play Store called Nearby aims to improve that experience.
Nearby can help you find the right apps at the right time depending on your location. If an app relevant to your location is available you’ll be prompted with a pop-up which you can tap to either use or download the app.
Here are some examples the Android team gives of how Nearby can be used in real-life situations:
- Using the CVS Pharmacy app to print photos from your phone
- Using the University of Notre Dame app to explore landmarks
- Downloading an audio tour while visiting The Broad in LA
- Using the Mobile Passport app to get through airport customs faster
- Using the United Airlines app for free in-flight entertainment
To use Nearby on your Android device you need to turn on bluetooth and location services, then Google will show you when nearby apps or websites are available. If you’re not interested in the app being suggested, just swipe it away.
Nearby will work on Android version 4.4 (KitKat) and above. It will be rolled out as part of the upcoming Google Play Services release.
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