Google Introduces Nearby: A New Way To Discover The Things Around You

Google today launched Nearby, a new feature for Android devices that recommends potentially helpful apps and websites based on your physical location using Eddystone beacons.

Nearby, which requires Android 4.4 (KitKat) and above, is rolling out now as part of a Google Play Services update.

During Google’s I/O conference last month, the company introduced the concept of “Instant Apps” — a way of more quickly downloading apps by breaking them into small pieces that deliver you just the part of the app you need. However, it didn’t address how users would come across these apps in the first place.

Google hopes that Nearby will help improve app discovery when you’re on the go. The Google Play store has more than 1.5 million Android apps, but many are only meant to be used in specific locations and situations.

Nearby requires enabling Bluetooth and Location on your Android device before you can turn it on. A notification will let you know if a nearby app or website is available, and tapping it will take you “straight into the intended experience.”

If you’re not interested, you can just swipe it away, just like any other notification.