Google’s Niantic Labs has released a new app for Android called Field Trip, it’s an app that runs in the background and pops up cards of information based on your location. The app allows you to define your interests from a list of categories such as Architecture, Historic Places & Events, Lifestyle, Offers & Deals, Food Drinks & Fun, Movie Locations, Outdoor Art and Obscure Places to decide which information is given to you.
From the description of the app in the Google Play Store the information is pulled in from a number of places : Trend-setting publications like Thrillist, Food Network, Zagat, and Eater will point out the best places to eat and drink. Experts at Sunset, Cool Hunting, WeHeart, Inhabitat, and Remodelista will guide you to the latest unique stores and products. Atlas Obscura and Daily Secret help you uncover hidden gems no matter where you are. Songkick and Flavorpill guide you to local music.
At this stage Field Trip is only available to users in the US although TheVerge pointed to a Google+ post by Brandon Badger a developer who worked on Field Trip who advises :
As we add more content publishing partners we’ll expand internationally
Until Google rolls it out internationally and enables downloads to other countries in the Google Play store and you want to give it a go now, over at XDA the APK has been pulled and uploaded to a DropBox account so you can side-load it onto your device. To side load it you will have to go into your settings and tick the ‘Unknown Sources’ option to allow the installation of apps from sources other than the Google Play Store, probably a good idea to untick that after installing the APK.
I found it to have very little around me but in the centre of Canberra there was a couple of places that showed up with a prompt that was possible to click on and view the card of information that was gleaned from Songkick. Major landmarks such as Parliament House had no such prompts so this would be part of the limitation outside the US at the moment.
Overall it’s a pretty cool idea although I would probably prefer having Google Now pop-up these card as it would be the perfect delivery vehicle for such notifications. Although with Jelly Bean and hence Google Now only on 1.8% of devices, getting people used to cards of information using this App may be a good idea. It remains to be seen how much battery this app uses just sitting in the background getting location data to feed the cards to you.
The app is 2.9MB to download and is available to devices running Android 2.3+. The description advises that the app is optimized for smartphones, not tablets so if you live in the US grab it from the Play Store, if not grab the APK from XDA and see what you think.
Go on a Field Trip today!