I'd heard about this a few days ago but I finally had a chance to check it out this evening. Google's new mobile location based search is a pretty big deal. I was on the road looking for a coffee shop to do some work at in an area I wasn't familiar with. At a stop light, I whipped out my iPhone.
You simply open 'google.com' on your iPhone browser. Google will ask you if you want to use location in your searching. You give the browser permission to use the iPhone's GPS (or Cell tower triangulation in the original iPhones) and then you search like you normally would.
The results I got gave be a list of coffee shops by distance with reviews and directions. This is something I can see myself using often.
You're probably saying right now that you can use any number of apps like Yelp to do similar things, but Google's is updated in real time and it is a web app so it could work across all devices. It currently only works on iPhone and Android.
Oh, and this service, like all other Google services probably arries a pretty big Trojan along with it as well.
Google now knows your location (scary - ahhh!). That means Google can geo-target its ads to where you are located (none have popped up yet in any of my searches). Restaurants, bakeries, hardware stores and yes coffee shops would all love to be at the top of Google's list when people search for what they offer. If they're smart, they'll obviously pay Google to be there - but of course they'll want to pick up Google's other services as well.
Google basically can now be a better location aware, hyperlinked Yellowpages
This story, "Google's Location-Based iPhone Search Is So Cool" was originally published by Computerworld.