Sep. 29, 2012 at 12:19 PM ET
Google's new Field Trip app is a virtual local tour guide that's always running in the background. It pops up interesting local information — from local history and architecture to the best restaurants and shopping — without you having to ask for it.
After you choose whether you want just occasional notifications or frequent ones, Field Trip runs quietly in the background, looking for anything notable around you. The app pulls in information from a ton of sources, including Zagat and Eater in the food and drinks category; Architizer for architecture; and The Worldwide Guide to Movie Locations and Atlas Obscura for unique (and possibly bizarre) finds.
When it finds something, Field Trip notifies you with a ringtone and/or vibration. It can even read the title and description to you. View the event, place, or thing on a map and read more about it within the app. You can also choose to get more or fewer notifications from individual sources.
The Android app has a really pleasant interface and definitely encourages you to step out and go explore (as the video above suggests). Google says the app is like having a local friend with you as you explore a city. You can download this virtual friend on Google Play now; an iOS version is coming soon.
NOTE: If Google Play says your phone is incompatible, it might not really be. I got the incompatibility warning too on my Galaxy S2, but was able to download it directly from the phone and it works!
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