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Google Removes "Search Nearby" Function From Updated Google Maps 255

Posted by timothy
from the where-are-you-again? dept.
First time accepted submitter BillCable writes "One of the most useful and intuitive features of Google's Map tool was the "Search nearby" link. After searching for a location, users could click on a marker on the map to pop open a window with the address and other details. This window also contained a link to 'Search nearby' — extremely useful if you want to find a list of restaurants near a hotel, the closest pharmacy, or any other business you might want to patronize. Google recently updated their map tool, and 'Search nearby' is no longer present. The 300 posts to the Google Product Forums complaining about this omission indicates this is a feature Maps users sorely miss. Google's work-around (detailed by Google staff in said thread) are a poor substitute and unreliable. There is no indication Google will add the feature to their new tool. For now users are able to revert to the original Google Maps with the 'Search nearby' feature intact. But there's concern that when Google discontinues support that the feature will be lost. So why would Google remove one of its best features?"
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Google Removes "Search Nearby" Function From Updated Google Maps

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  • Just a guess (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AceCaseOR (594637) <alexander@case.gmail@com> on Thursday January 16, 2014 @02:22PM (#45977997) Homepage Journal
    I'm guessing the feature was dropped due to privacy complaints, which just goes to show that you simply can't win.
    • by krups gusto (2203848) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @02:27PM (#45978067)
      I'm not sure the local pizza joint is worried that I'll be able to see where they are.
      • by AceCaseOR (594637)

        I'm not sure the local pizza joint is worried that I'll be able to see where they are.

        End users might have complained (in a "Big Broth-er-Google Maps is watching my every move!") sense.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Did you divine this from your Jump-to-conclusions mat?

    • I never used "Search Nearby", so what was the difference between that and putting "brothels near 1600 pennsylvania avenue washington dc"?

      • Re:Just a guess (Score:5, Informative)

        by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @02:45PM (#45978281)

        I never used "Search Nearby", so what was the difference between that and putting "brothels near 1600 pennsylvania avenue washington dc"?

        2 diferences:

        1) Search Nearby did not need an address. You could use "my current location" for example, as a starting point. This is valuable or people who are unfamiliar with an area, because they might not even know an address for their location.

        2) The example you gave -- which was Google's suggested workaround -- as often as not does not work, according to users.

        The simple fact is that Google, yet again, took something that was well-thought-out, and was well liked and oft used by their users, and messed it up.

        According to the forum linked above, Mapquest still has this feature. I might give it a try.

        • I'd think that they'd be collecting usage data and be aware if this was a useful feature or not. Maybe usage was extremely low, and those few users, plus chronic complainers who jumped on the bandwagon, are now loudly complaining. That or Google is totally incompetent because this _does_ sound like a useful feature.
          • Re:Just a guess (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @03:00PM (#45978455)

            "I'd think that they'd be collecting usage data and be aware if this was a useful feature or not."

            Useful to whom? This is a point I made elsewhere in this thread:

            Simple traffic analysis doesn't cut it. Let's say only 20% of your users ever use this feature. BUT... if that feature is very important (valuable) to that 20%, getting rid of it will likely lose you that 20% for good and your business will suffer.

            Seriously: in general, how many people use a feature is only a small part of the picture.

            • But those 20% are just 20%. You cater to the other 80%.

              You build for the majority of your users. If you're in the minority, you deal with it, find a competitor who offers that functionality, or you build your own.

              • Re:Just a guess (Score:4, Insightful)

                by lucm (889690) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @05:09PM (#45979679)

                But those 20% are just 20%. You cater to the other 80%.

                You build for the majority of your users. If you're in the minority, you deal with it, find a competitor who offers that functionality, or you build your own.

                It is an unusual approach to remove a feature because "only 20%" of people are using it. Plus, they make billions, it's not as if they were on a tiny budget and had to make tough decisions in cutting features to save on future maintenance work.

                No, this is in line with other "improvements" on Gmail or Google search. They have lost touch with reality and make decisions according to internal politics alone, exactly like it happened in the US car industry. Now if you will excuse me I have to take my Fiat Cherokee to the carwash.

              • WHOOSH

                You missed my entire point: that is too simplistic of an analysis.

                If your users use a feature casually, and don't really give much of a shit if this little feature is changed, etc., then you CAN change something and nobody cares much.

                But if that 20% of users REALLY NEED a particular feature, then if you get rid of it, you also get rid of those users. You have just unilaterally lost 20% of your business, for no good reason. And make no mistake: 20% is a huge chunk.

                Simply going by "80% of my
              • Re:Just a guess (Score:4, Informative)

                by Zalbik (308903) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @07:42PM (#45980973)

                But those 20% are just 20%. You cater to the other 80%.

                Brilliant!

                Every year, just maintain the features that 80% of the users use, and drop the other 20%. After all, why bother maintaining features that don't cater to the precious 80%?

                Strangely, after 5 years you find your company's market share has dropped to just 30% of what it was 5 years ago, and the code base has gotten surprisingly slim....I wonder why that is?

        • by Albanach (527650)

          1) Search Nearby did not need an address. You could use "my current location" for example, as a starting point. This is valuable or people who are unfamiliar with an area, because they might not even know an address for their location.

          Clearly if searching for 'restaurants near xyz' doesn't always work that's a problem, but it did work when I tried.

          You can still search for any location. When you click on the map, there's a display below the search bar. It shows the address and coordinates of where you click

        • by Hobadee (787558)

          I never used "Search Nearby", so what was the difference between that and putting "brothels near 1600 pennsylvania avenue washington dc"?

          2 diferences:

          1) Search Nearby did not need an address. You could use "my current location" for example, as a starting point. This is valuable or people who are unfamiliar with an area, because they might not even know an address for their location.

          2) The example you gave -- which was Google's suggested workaround -- as often as not does not work, according to users.

          The simple fact is that Google, yet again, took something that was well-thought-out, and was well liked and oft used by their users, and messed it up.

          According to the forum linked above, Mapquest still has this feature. I might give it a try.

          1) Simply search for "brothels near me" or "brothels near Washington DC"
          2) I have never had a problem with the new maps just zooming to an area and doing a search for "brothels" in which a bunch of pins pop up on the map showing me all the local brothels.

    • Re: click-throughs (Score:5, Insightful)

      by CrowdedBrainzzzsand9 (2000224) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @02:40PM (#45978237)

      Google has better control of ads if they decide what you want to find.

      • Re: click-throughs (Score:5, Insightful)

        by TWX (665546) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @02:46PM (#45978293)
        Ding Ding Ding, we have a winner!

        And now we're starting to get into the "you're the product" stage of Google. Google Shopping now is a pay-for-inclusion system, and soon Maps may head that direction.

        I guess that the $64,000 question is how far will it go before either Google stops pushing it, or before they find that they have competitor that outperforms them and resists a purchase attempt...
    • by xclr8r (658786)

      I'm guessing the feature was dropped due to privacy complaints, which just goes to show that you simply can't win.

      or to monetize it

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 16, 2014 @03:05PM (#45978513)

      Before: "WHAT?!??!? Google is USING MY LOCATION DATA?!? Evil! Evil evil evil evil evil evil EVIL!!! Now they'll know where I am and/or swarm my hipster store with too many customers, driving out all the cool kids! Kill it! Kill it NOW! Now let me vomit up a series of pop culture references and internet memes to express my disapproval of this activity, as I feel that will prove my point! *ahem* Kill it with fire! Do not want! Big Brother something something! blah blah blah..."

      Now: "WHAT?!??!? Google's killing their location data-using service? No! Wrong! Evil evil evil evil evil evil EVIL! Were you not listening to my barely-coherent string of pop culture references? That's not what we wanted AT ALL! Why can't you just understand that we want you to not use our location data in your location data-using service? Just tell us what's nearby us without knowing where we are! What is so hard about THAT?!?"

    • by AJH16 (940784)

      Nah, most likely Garmin has a patent on searching for what is nearby and threatened to sue.

  • by s_p_oneil (795792) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @02:22PM (#45978005) Homepage

    Maybe it's because only 300 people know about it? Yes, that was a joke, but seriously Google Maps has millions of users, and Google knows how many people click on it. If the vast majority don't (even if it's due to not having a clue), I could see why Google might drop it.

    • by Mr D from 63 (3395377) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @02:29PM (#45978101)
      Maybe its because you can simply pull up an area on the map and type what you are looking for in the search bar (i.e. restaurants) and essentially get the same result.
      • That's the way I've done it, or else just using the word "near" (e.g. "Catholic confessionals near bars of questionable repute").

        I didn't know about "Search Nearby" until my fiancee asked me where it had gone.

        • by girlintraining (1395911) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @02:46PM (#45978299)

          That's the way I've done it, or else just using the word "near" (e.g. "Catholic confessionals near bars of questionable repute").

          Google found 1920 results.

          GOP.gov - The Website of the Republican Majority in the House of ...
          www.gop.gov/
          The Website for the Republican Majority in the House of Representatives, GOP.gov provides the latest news from the House Republican Conference and its ...

          The United States House of Representatives - House.gov
          www.house.gov/
          On January 3, 2014, the U.S. House of Representatives convened to start its second session of the 113th Congress. Speaker Boehner honoring President ...

          Images for congressmen getting caught with gay hookers
            - Report images

          List of federal political sex scandals in the United States - Wikipedia ...
          en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_federal_political_sex_scandals_in_the_Un...âZ
          This is a list of sex scandals involving American federal politicians. ..... Gary Hart, Senator (D-CO): While seeking the Democratic nomination for president, Hart ...
          âZMimi Alford - âZEric Massa - âZChris Lee - âZDavid Wu
          Democratic Party (United States) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

          en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_Party_(United_States)âZ
          The Democratic Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the younger Republican Party. Tracing its origins ...
          âZRepublican Party - âZDebbie Wasserman Schultz - âZPolitical parties in the United

      • Maybe its because you can simply pull up an area on the map and type what you are looking for in the search bar (i.e. restaurants) and essentially get the same result.

        So maybe, and maybe so far... here's a probably: Because it's not generating enough revenue.I don't know why people seem to forget that google is a corporation and their main products are services... so funding these things is sorta important. They aren't a charity.

        • by lagomorpha2 (1376475) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @02:47PM (#45978311)

          google is a corporation and their main products are services...

          Correction: their main products are users. Services are just part of the manufacturing process for producing users to sell to their customers.

          • All consumers are also products somewhere along the line. Without the services Google offers, there would be no users. Without the users, there would be no product to advertisers. You're definition is shallow.
        • by EdIII (1114411) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @03:46PM (#45978837)

          It's so damn useful though. You locate yourself on a map from an intersection (or geolocation if you don't care about your privacy at all) and search nearby places.

          Example: I'm at a tire store and it will take 45 minutes before my car is ready. I plug the address of the tire store into Google and search for nearby restaurants within a 10 minute walk. It tells me that up the street, which I did not come by from, has a Denny's.

          That's fucking important. I need to know where those Denny's are to avoid them more than Battlestar Gallatica tried to avoid the Cylons, or a salad avoided Jabba the Hutt. I think most sane and rational people have used Google this way right?

          As far the maybe is concerned, perhaps, it's that Google really did find a lot of people doing that and figured it was an additional commodity to sell. A local business would pay quite a bit actually to steer real time requests for businesses towards them. I know some businesses well enough to say they would test it out and shift funds away from other marketing budgets.

          A half a dozen times in the last 3 years I've found myself in meetings with the local telephone book companies pitching SEO and their own web based directories as the primary product instead of their dead tree publishing. Those companies see the writing on the wall and are not trying to sue or regulate the Internet into compliance with their old business model, unlike some creeps we know. They would jump on that in a second to offer local foot traffic to a retail brick and mortar store as an added service they provide.

          Google could make money doing that. Google doesn't service the Internet user except with a glove going you-know-where, they service their real customers and those are the advertising industry and Big Data consumers.

          Got a funny feeling that it will play out just like that. A new NearMe(tm) feature with sponsored search results on a revamped directory page.

          Google could knock off Eat24.com and Groupon in an afternoon with their search tech, map tech, and payment processing tech.

          There's money in it. A lot of it.

          • by brunes69 (86786) <slashdot&keirstead,org> on Thursday January 16, 2014 @04:43PM (#45979433) Homepage

            You can still do every single thing you said above. The people are complaining about some button that you are not even mentioning. I don't even know how to get to the functionality they are talking about.

          • Example: I'm at a tire store and it will take 45 minutes before my car is ready. I plug the address of the tire store into Google and search for nearby restaurants within a 10 minute walk. It tells me that up the street, which I did not come by from, has a Denny's.

            Call me strange, but... couldn't you just step outside the tire store and... uhh.. look around? I've never even heard of this now missing feature until I read this /. post. Does anyone actually use their feet and eyes anymore to locate places of interest? Geeze.

            I think it's a good thing Google removed this, perhaps people will re-learn how to use their own internal navigational system, you know, that squishy stuff between your ears.

            • by mikael (484)

              Because American streets are about six lanes wide, have rows of trees down the middle, have carparks outside the strip malls, which are a further 100 meters wide and have more trees. So it can be a good 200 meters between the tyre shop and the nearest restaurant. Looking around isn't possible, you need maps.

          • by thegarbz (1787294)

            Ok Example: I'm at a tire store and it will take 45min before my car is ready.

            I pull out the phone and click maps. No need to plug my address in the phone will centre in my current location. I search for "restaurants" and I get a list of restaurants starting with the closest one with good reviews. I even have a previous / next button.

            The phone knows where I'm interested in because it's already on the screen. None of the results appear to be further than a few minutes walk. Done. And all without using an ap

      • by Jmc23 (2353706)
        except that will give you paid for search results that might not actually be near the location. Search nearby returns what's nearby regardless of what advertisers paid google.
    • "Maybe it's because only 300 people know about it? Yes, that was a joke, but seriously Google Maps has millions of users, and Google knows how many people click on it. If the vast majority don't (even if it's due to not having a clue), I could see why Google might drop it."

      The problem with that kind of analysis is that it does not include any way to measure how important the feature is to those who DO use it.

      If you decide to drop (or in this case, offer a poorly-working, poorly-designed substitute) because only 20% of your users even used it, BUT that 20% of users relied on it very heavily, then guess what? Your business is going to suffer from that decision.

  • Yelp has this (Score:4, Informative)

    by MrEricSir (398214) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @02:24PM (#45978037) Homepage

    It's far from a perfect replacement, but Yelp lets you search for businesses and such by location. You can narrow it down my moving/zooming the mini-map in the sidebar.

  • Patent problem? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rob Y. (110975) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @02:25PM (#45978041)

    Let me guess. Somebody else got a stupid patent on 'search nearby' functionality?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      That is my thought, too. Worse, Google's own lawyers probably decided they wouldn't win.

      This doesn't surprise me. I used to work on navigation systems, and obvious ideas (to me) were turned down because they were already patented -- things like "find me the nearest McDonald's or fast food on the road ahead/programmed route".

      IIRC, even things like company-specific icons on the map were already taken.

  • Inconsistent results (Score:4, Informative)

    by Naatach (574111) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @02:29PM (#45978097)
    I use the feature, but I'm not always impressed by the results. It has my exact location, but often suggests stores that are much further away. There are many times when I will search for a store trying to find the closest, but it pushes me to one across town. It is useful, so I hope it comes back, but fixed.
  • UPLINK [google.com]
    Swipe left in the main app to get the search by map feature.

    Also please give any feedback about the app. We expect the experience to be progressively enhanced.

  • by schwit1 (797399) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @02:34PM (#45978153)

    This is feature they plan to roll into a pay-for-use service sold to non-Google+ customers and free for Google+ customers, after you sign in.

  • Google wouldn't intentionally cause discomfort for its userbase without a good reason. My list includes the following possiblities:

    1) The feature is being improved/expanded and is still in testing phase.
    2) Patent infringement (or the claim of) has caused the feature to be removed, at least temporarily.
    3) The feature will reappear in a non-free version of the same service.
    4) The feature is being exclusively licensed (along with the map data) by another party.
    • by s7uar7 (746699)

      Google wouldn't intentionally cause discomfort for its userbase without a good reason

      A year ago I would have agreed with you, but after having used the now much-crippled Android Google Maps app I can't help thinking there's been a change of leader there to one whose vision for the product doesn't match the users' use of it.

      • Yeah, I get that feeling too. The luster is fading on the Google. It used to be that Google was the hip new kid on the scene showing up the old and crufty beast that was Microsoft, and was more open and cheap than Apple. Even though they had almost entirely different fields of interest.

        Then for a while they had more money than they knew what to do with. They dominated online ads, and made bank alongside everyone throwing money at them.

        There was that minority that rallied against the targetted ad panopticon

    • by noh8rz10 (2716597)

      you can combine 2 and 4. They are the same. I would add a new one 4) they found they can make more ad revenue by restricting a feature to G+ users, or something similar. Perhaps they plan on restricting the feature in order to "drive" people to G+. A winning strategy!

  • by a4r6 (978521) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @02:38PM (#45978207)
    Product managers. Agile development. *Lean methodology*

    The business world is full of stupid yes-men who constantly jump on the newest trends regardless of merit.

    One of those trends, in product management, is "lean methodology", which as some people implement it, means leaving out any sensible features that haven't been explicitly asked for. This is in the name of giving users what they want. The rigid way which product managers interpret it means they resist implementing sensible, intuitive functionality that hasn't been planned for specifically, and the whole product refinement process becomes less efficient as a result, with the minor benefit that you don't build anything that wasn't needed.
    • by DarthVain (724186)

      Ugh. I was in a meeting today where they mentioned "Product" Managers as opposed to Project Managers... I instantly know these are the exact same people just trending themselves differently. They even threw in a "synergy" for humanity's sake! Nearly had to stab myself in the brain with my pen, but managed to just roll my eyes instead.

      Love having a 3h meeting where they somehow manage to say absolutely nothing.

      Favorite line: "Teams will work collaboratively and independently". Um, what?

  • Damn. I'll miss it.
    I do a fair amount of travel for work, and would scope out neighborhoods before choosing a hotel.

  • So why would Google remove one of its best features?

    Because Google plans on putting it into something more closely tied with Google+ or some other thing they plan on forcing us to use to increase their revenues?

    Google cares about two things, collecting more of your data, and making more money.

    Which is why so much of their stuff is perpetually in Beta, so they can decide to change it any time they like.

    • Not having stuff in beta hasn't exactly stopped other companies from making changes any time they like.

      • by gstoddart (321705)

        Nope. But when Google drops useful features, in my experience it's tied in with forcing people to use some of their other products.

        Most other companies I'd say this was to push people to subscriptions, but Google hasn't done that yet that I'm aware of for most things.

        It just seems like very useful functionality to be removing, which makes me question the 'why' behind it.

    • by Frankie70 (803801)

      Which is why so much of their stuff is perpetually in Beta, so they can decide to change it any time they like.

      If it was a GA product and they removed it - what would you do - sue them?

  • Search Nearby is no longer needed. Google just tells you what you want - they know, they don't need to search nearby.

  • by jfengel (409917) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @02:55PM (#45978395) Homepage Journal

    I'm running with the "classic" Google Maps because the new Google Maps is missing a lot of features that I find important. It still has this feature.

    I don't know why they remove useful, functional features. I've always assumed it had to do with streamlining the interfaces, Apple-style (motto: "It's either easy or it's impossible"). But they don't seem to end up more friendly or usable.

    I keep expecting them to start adding new features such that I'm forced to abandon the classic maps if I want them, but as far as I can tell there's nothing compelling about the new Maps, and I'll keep with the classic until they stop offering it.

    I'm a big fan of Google, and I really love the way they give me cool stuff for free. I tend to give them the benefit of the doubt when they stop supporting things, and assume it means that they're working on other cool stuff. But this has me rather perplexed: a lot of work put into a new interface which is not just feature-poor but clunky.

    • by cjellibebi (645568) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @03:18PM (#45978619)

      [...] streamlining the interfaces, Apple-style (motto: "It's either easy or it's impossible").

      This sums up nicely the trend towards dumbed down user-interfaces. They're spending so much time on making these gadgets and services accessible to the masses that the power-users are utterly being left out.

      • by danbert8 (1024253)

        How can we eliminate all the buttons? Ooh, what if we could just make one BIG button that does everything? No one wants to see text, just pictures! Make everything round, no make it square, no, trapezoidal!

        These are the things that interface designers have been discussing recently and it's pissing me off. From the Ribbon, to the new Start screen, to Iphones, to the new Google Maps. What the hell is wrong with a fast, intuitive, and logical interface that has a bunch of text links and visible controls?

  • The same reason the little yellow street view guy wasn't in the new version either (he is now). They are releasing a rolling beta and using you to test their products.

  • by brunes69 (86786) <slashdot&keirstead,org> on Thursday January 16, 2014 @03:11PM (#45978567) Homepage

    When you have an already loaded map / search, and you enter a new search, it already does a "search nearby".

    IE, if I go into Google maps and search for "Times Square, New York, NY", it shows me Times Square. If I then type in "Pizza", it will find all the pizza places AROUND TIMES SQUARE, IE the ones inside whatever window I have open. This is the way Google Maps has always behaved, it is nice an intuitive, and does not need clicking weird extra buttons. It just plain does what you expect it to do without asking.

    • by Splab (574204)

      Yeah, never knew the function original poster talked about, way more intuitive to find the place you want and just type your search in the search bar.

  • How does the old aphorism go? If you look around the table and you don't know who the sucker is, it's you? Take a good look around Google. Yes, they're convenient. (Except when they're not.) But you're paying for that convenience, and not in cash.
  • They also did this with offline caching. It used to be I could cache up to five map areas offline on my tablet. Inexplicably, they took it away. Then they brought it back but it's not in the menu of commands, you have to type "ok maps". I suspect a patent issue but it would be nice if Google gave an explanation. Removing useful features seems counter intuitive to say the least.
  • Please? I really miss being able to explore a patch of this wonderful planet and read Wikipedia articles about nearby places.
  • It sounds harsh, but (Score:3, Interesting)

    by nightfire-unique (253895) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @03:27PM (#45978677)

    The entire Google maps leadership team should be fired.

    Google is in the (almost) unique position of having outstanding cartographical data, satellite imagery, realtime traffic information, and access to user searches and email.

    They could have built an incredible mapping platform with hierarchical point and route storage and sharing, GPX import/export, realtime location sharing (ie. latitude), advanced planning, map overlays, user reporting on traffic incidents/roadblocks/radar..

    A year ago, they seemed to be heading in this direction.

    Instead, they've slowly been stripping away the features they had that made it useful.

    I remember looking upon the Google Maps iPhone app 6 months ago in horror. How do I send my own location? How do I see a topographical view? Why do selected locations snap to the nearest road? Why can't I measure distance, or plan a route in advance? Why can't I save a place, and give it a different name? I laughed, smug in the superiority of my Android version. I thought nice play, Google.. way to stick it to iPhone users, and offer them a compelling reason to switch to Android!

    Little known to me at the time, my preferred platform would suffer the same fate. The abomination that was Google Maps on iPhone was ported, and pushed out to Android as well! Now who's laughing, right?

    I am literally dumbfounded. Android's old maps application (6.14) was good. Not perfect, but good. The new version is laughable. No more latitude. No more labs. No more topographical maps. No more realtime transit navigation. No zoom buttons for one-handed use. No dedicated navigation button. No arrows pointing the direction of each search result. Bizarre, distracting user interface with clunky "3D" wipes. Still can't share your current location.

    It doesn't surprise me at all that they're starting to remove features from the new Maps for web.

    I'm almost certain that it's a move to convert the platform from data to advertisement. Less focus on what is actual (corner of 5th and E17th), and what is sponsored (Feel like McDonalds? Here are some locations!). I only hope that competition moves in to eat their lunch, and everyone who was involved in gutting it is offered a package.

  • Maybe as part of their anti trust investigation in the US and in Europe they were directed to suck so that some users would leave it and go elsewhere?

  • Pretty much everything Google has done over the last couple of years has been for the worse. Every interface has been dumbed down. Many useful features have been removed, even from their basic search engine. The android navigation app, is now an accident waiting to happen, with each basic function require a half a dozen tiny button clicks all over the screen. They've made it impossible to comment on anything or leave a review, without a dummy account (and then why bother), and don't even get my started on t

  • ...as I stopped using Google Maps when they discontinued Latitude. (G+ is way overkill when all you want to know is the location of family members.) I use Waze now. It's not perfect, but it works well enough.

  • For example old and totally non-hip version of Google Maps for regular browser had wonderful "My Location" button. That little white with blue gem in it when active thing. You click on it, and you get a marker on the map where you are. I suppose it could be "approximate" but generally I don't care. When you are in a new city, routing from "My location" to "Blah" was a snap. Now you have "my location" eradicated. You have to find where you actually are, put a dot there and then route from there. Why?

    How abou

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