One under-reported aspect of the Android 4.4 release is that it adds -by default apparently- searches inside your contacts.
That is, whereas before you had a list of people you wanted to phone, which you could search and then call. now it can also include "nearby places that include your query"
A key point is being missed here. When I start typing in a name of someone in the contacts list, I am not trying to "query" something, just do a lookup of people in small table. And if there isn't a match there, it is not that I want the search broadened -it is that I have mistyped someones name and would like some fuzzy matching.
What do I get then, if I mistype "andes" instead of the surname of a friend, "anders"
I don't get a "showing results for anders" dialog the way you get if you misspell something in google search.
No, I get a hostel and a set of apartments in Santiago, Chile, and a mountain sports shop in New Hampshire.
None of these are nearby by any definition of "nearby" except that used by astronomers, where "inner solar system'" is considered close.
Maybe, just maybe, if the "search nearby places" feature did actually search nearby then it could be useful, though as there are so many other search bars in an android phone (top of the front page, in maps, in chrome) that I have never stared at the phone thinking "I wonder if there is a way to look up things on the web from here?" I serious doubt that.
But there is no way that I can conceivably consider returning two hotels in south america and a US shop as a nearby search, it is no use whatsoever.
I find it hard to conceive what developer team managed to come up with a search threshold where the cutoff for "not nearby" appears to be somewhere outside the orbit of the moon. No doubt there's some bug where the fact that java byte is and so setting one to 180 degrees would result in the number being chopped down, but really, couldn't the QA write a test that entered a key term not in contacts -and fail the test if the top three results included one or more entry on a different continent, or even hemisphere.