Google’s Field Trip is a mobile tour guide that fits comfortably in your pocket

field trip google 

A new Google app just might replace the tour guide. Field Trip, a standalone location app is a newly launched product built by Niantic Labs, a small team at Google focused on building social media and location features. Field Trip notifies its users with relevant location-based information that pops up automatically as a card on their smartphone.

It’s an intriguing new app that uses “ambient intelligence,” as reported first by The New York Times, that could offer a taste of what’s to come from Google’s Glasses. In an interview, John Hanke, a vice president of product at Google, and the head of Niantic Labs, explained to the New York Times that the tech is a precursor to what we may see when augmented reality becomes a more prevalent part of our lives. “What we’re doing is essentially building the information framework and tools to enable that kind of (augmented reality) experience in the future,” Hanke explained.

The app always runs in the background so it can see exactly where you are and even how fast you’re traveling – it can even identify whether or not you’re traveling in a car and time its notifications appropriately without flooding your screen. And relevant information, like restaurant reviews from sources like Zagat, Thrillist, Arcadia, Songkick and others, can be accessed on a card-like display that opens up through the app.

If you’d prefer not to put up with incessant alerts, you can adjust the frequency with which you’d prefer to receive notifications. You can also filter the publications that you’d like to receive informational updates from.

There’s clearly some overlap between Field Trip and Foursquare, although these apps were built for different purposes. “Field Trip enables serendipitous discovery of interesting places, events and stories all around you,” Hanke told Digital Trends. Foursquare, on the other hand helps its users discover new places to eat, play, or shop. But the location-based similarity is there, and Google is just a few social recommendation features shy of encroaching on Foursquare’s business. In fact, like Foursquare, Field Trip offers deals, although they are limited to Google Offers and Vayable. 

The app provides social sharing options via Facebook, Google+, and Twitter and you can download the app for Android phones. An iOS app is not yet available but in the works.

Social Media

Dine and dash(board): Make a Yelp reservation from your car’s control panel

Already in the car, but can't decide where to eat? Yelp Reservations can now be added to some dashboard touchscreens. Yelp Reservations searches for restaurants within 25 miles of the vehicle's location.

Windows 10 notifications driving you crazy? Here's how to get them under control

Are the notifications on Windows 10 annoying you? Here's our guide on how to turn off notifications in Windows, and how to manage alerts so that the important stuff still gets through.
Virtual Reality

Think virtual reality is just for games? These awesome apps will change your mind

Virtual reality isn't all about gaming. Swim with turtles, paint in 3D, and immerse yourself in some unique experiences the platform has to offer with our curated list of the best VR apps.

The 100 best Android apps turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

Choosing which apps to download is tricky, especially given how enormous and cluttered the Google Play Store has become. We rounded up 100 of the best Android apps and divided them neatly, with each suited for a different occasion.

These 100 best iPhone apps will turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

The iPhone is the most popular smartphone in the world, and we want to bring out the best in yours. Behold our comprehensive list of the best iPhone apps, from time-saving productivity tools to fun apps you won’t be able to put down.

Hackers sold 120 million private Facebook messages, report says

Up to 120 million private Facebook messages were being sold online by hackers this fall. The breach was first discovered in September and the messages were obtained through unnamed rogue browser extensions. 
Social Media

Facebook opens pop-up stores at Macy’s, but they’re not selling the Portal

Facebook has opened pop-up stores at multiple Macy's, though they're not selling Facebook's new Portal device. Instead, they're showcasing small businesses and brands that are already popular on Facebook and Instagram.

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. With so many subreddits, however, navigating the "front page of the internet" can be daunting. You're in luck -- we've gathered 23 of the best subreddits to help…
Social Media

Facebook Messenger will soon let you delete sent messages

A feature coming to Facebook Messenger will let you delete a message for up to 10 minutes after you send it. The company promised the feature months ago and this week said it really is on its way ... "soon."
Social Media

Pinterest brings followed content front and center with full-width Pin format

Want to see Pinterest recommendations, or just Pins from followed users? Now Pinners can choose with a Pinterest Following feed update. The secondary feed eliminates recommendation and is (almost) chronological.
Smart Home

Facebook's Alexa-enabled video-calling devices begin shipping

Facebook's Portal devices are video smart speakers with Alexa voice assistants built in that allow you to make calls. The 15-inch Portal+ model features a pivoting camera that follows you around the room as you speak.
Social Media

Vine fans, your favorite video-looping app is coming back as Byte

Vine fans were left disappointed in 2017 when its owner, Twitter, pulled the plug on the video-looping app. But now one of its co-founders has promised that a new version of the app, called Byte, is coming soon.

Social media use increases depression and anxiety, experiment shows

A study has shown for the first time a causal link between social media use and lower rates of well-being. Students who limited their social media usage to 30 minutes a day showed significant decreases in anxiety and fear of missing out.
Social Media

Twitter boss hints that an edit button for tweets may finally be on its way

Twitter has been talking for years about launching an edit button for tweets, but it still hasn't landed. This week, company boss Jack Dorsey addressed the matter again, describing a quick-edit button as "achievable."