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Google Places API Offering Greater Local Context

Posted on 3.23.2015

Google launched its Places API for Android and opened a beta program for it on iOS last week and it is aiming to bring some practical, local context on what's around users.

While the Places API web service and JavaScript library have actually be around for some time, providing native support for Android and iOS devices will enable developers to take advantage of a device’s location signals, and further optimize their apps' mobile experience.

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The new API offers several new and interesting features including a place picker in the form of a drop-in UI widget, access to data about where the user is at a specific moment (including detailed information on that place including its name, address, phone number, and website), as well as autocomplete support for searches conducted by users. But the benefits don't stop there for those developing with the API.

Having the ability to determine the exact place where a user is currently located (and data about those locations) is essential to app developers, but giving users the ability to engage with those surroundings (within these mobile apps - on both Android and iOS nonetheless) is perhaps more important. To satisfy this demand, developers using Google's new API can now allow users to add new places to Google's database on their own (which already includes more than 100 million locations globally).


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