This Summer, you may have noticed that the number of Glassware (apps and services designed especially for Glass, built with Glass design principles) has increased. One of the newly added Glassware is an app that shows you what is around. It shouldn’t surprise you then, that the Glassware is named “What’s Around“. The app is very useful and combines Google Glass’ capabilities to augment reality, with the kind of app that offers information and reviews about the points of interest around you. That’s what “What’s Around” is in a nutshell.
You can activate the “What’s Around” Glassware easily by saying “Explore nearby with” followed by “What’s Around”. This will prompt the app to seamlessly integrate information on what restaurants are near you. Not unlike acrossair, an augmented reality browser app that functions as a navigator to get you to the nearest location of your choice, What’s Around uses the sensors inside Glass to give you information about nearby places. You will also see a compass so that you know in what direction the restaurant / place is and the distance to it from your location, in miles.
In addition to showing nearby places, their direction and the distance they are from you, the What’s Around app also displays ratings for restaurant, though not every one of them is rated. The ratings follow a scale from one to five, with the maximum score of five being displayed in green while the lowest score of one, being displayed in red. The restaurants that are not rated, obviously have no rating and instead show a question mark on a grey background. We mentioned that What’s Around is not so different than acrossair, an app for smartphones that uses the smartphone’s camera to augment reality and show you nearby places of interest. However, one notable difference is that What’s Around doesn’t give you direction to a restaurant of your choice.
You can see in what direction the restaurant is, and how many miles are from where you are, but you don’t get direction. You also cannot search for a specific restaurant to see its ratings. So there is still room for improvement and we bet that the devs will implement these features soon. We said that the What’s Around app gives you information about nearby places. We specifically said places, because What’s Around doesn’t only let you know about restaurants, but it offers information also on hospitals and gas stations. A minor inconvenience is that you can only see one category at a time, so you won’t be able to get information on nearby restaurants, gas stations and hospitals at the same time. But we expect that to change in future versions of the Glassware.
We also expect to see more categories, such as local businesses for example, added to the places that What’s Around will show you. Also, when you switch to either the hospitals or the gas stations category, you will not be able to see the restaurants ratings. But you will see the direction (via a compass) and the distance, in miles. As we mentioned, there is still room for improvement and we expect the Glassware to offer a lot more information in future versions; we also expect it to offer an extended amount of customization (such as letting us choose to have all categories displayed at the same time, or choosing a location and getting directions to get there).
One thing to keep in mind is that What’s Around Glassware remains in memory. While this is a good thing, especially if you are in an unfamiliar place and you are searching for a restaurant or a gas station, it does have a downside and that is the fact that being stored in memory continuously, it drains the battery of your Google Glass. So unless you use the Glassware, make sure you stop it, so it won’t drain battery life. In order to stop the app, simply tap on Glass and click on “Stop“. This will close the app; otherwise it will continue to run. Surely, you won’t need What’s Around in your neighborhood or in familiar places.
As described by its dev, “What’s Around shows nearby landmarks and orients you with a compass reading. The closest location is shown at the top of the list. All destinations have a colorful pin, indicating customer ratings from a red 1 to a green 5. A grey question mark means the location is unrated. As you walk in any direction, What’s Around updates in real time. A quick tap will load additional locations, such as gas stations or hospitals“. All in all What’s Around is a glassware that can be very helpful when on a trip or visiting an unfamiliar place.
You can . As we mentioned above, in its current version it is a bit bare bones especially when it comes to the amount of information that it offers and to customization options. There is plenty of room for improvement and we are sure that future iterations of the What’s Around Glassware will bring the level of polish the app (and Glass Explorers) deserves. Did you try it and if not, would you try What’s Around? We would like to nothing what you think about this Glassware so please leave your impressions in the dedicated section below.