Google's Niantic Labs launches Field Trip app for Android, helps the working world play hooky

While Apple struggles to figure out how to help its users find their way, the mapping experts at Google have just launched a way to get folks to diverge a bit from their given path. Field Trip, released for Android by Google-owned Niantic Labs, runs in the background on your Android handset, eagerly waiting for you to get near a point of interest. Once that happens, it leaps into action, showing you a card for one of thousands of cool locations -- historic spots, museums, restaurants and the like. Google's partnered with a bunch of taste makers for the project, including Flavorpill, Cool Hunting and its own Zagat, to get things done. You can vote choices up and down, change the frequency of pop ups and post your findings to Twitter, Facebook and that one Plus social network. There's also a driving mode serves as an auditory tour guide when you're behind the wheel. The app's available now as a free download in Play. The iOS version, on the other hand, is coming soon.

Psst... yes, it appears to be US-only for now. Bah, humbug.