Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Google Abandons Location-Sensitive “Here” Service

Erin Griffith, Fortune:

[People] familiar with the project say it was shut down for two reasons: Google Here was potentially too invasive, and the company wasn’t sure if many retailers would want it. […]

Some examples of how Google Here might have worked: If you walked into a Walgreens, your loyalty card could automatically appear on the lock screen of your phone. If you walked onto a train platform, a notification could tell you when your train is due to arrive. If you parked your car, you could tap to pay the specific parking meter. If you walked into Starbucks, your phone might buzz to offer a discount if you download the Starbucks app.

Some of these are things iOS does today, and has done for a while. When I go by a Tim Hortons or a Starbucks, I see my related Passbook card on the lock screen. Similarly, if you walk into a retailer and you don’t have their app installed, iOS places a prompt to download it in the lower-left corner. It’s pretty wild to me that something is too invasive for Google, yet not at all so for Apple; this is a turn I’m not particularly jazzed about.