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Google Phone app removing Nearby Places, teases more Pixel call AI in 2024

3 weeks ago 50

The Phone by Google (as it’s officially named) app is losing a “Nearby Places” feature that “allowed business name search queries entered into the Phone app to provide local business phone number results beyond just your personal contacts.” 

Google says “only a very small number of people use this feature” as the “vast majority of users go to Google Search or Maps when seeking business-related phone numbers.” Some people liked this capability for its convenience and one-stop nature, but Nearby Places wasn’t as accurate as Google Maps in our experience.

The official workaround is as follows: “For existing users of Nearby Places in the Phone by Google app, you can easily fulfill the same needs by typing a local business name into Google Search or Google Maps, which provides even more helpful information beyond phone numbers, such as address/directions, website info, and more.”

This removal will let the team “focus on building the highest quality, most reliable, and most innovative experiences in phone calling.” On Pixel phones, Google points to Call Screen’s new ability to ask if a call is urgent, while transcripts are now available on the Pixel Watch. In 2023, Hold For Me and Direct My Call also expanded to additional countries. Looking ahead, Google says “there’s a lot more planned for 2024.”

…our team will be working hard throughout the year to launch and improve even more ways to help your phone calling experience!”

The deprecation of Nearby Places is happening “in the coming months” for stable users of Phone by Google. As of the latest beta (version 122), we’re no longer seeing Nearby Places or the associated setting. However, the search bar stills says “Search contacts & places.” 

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