Nearby Explorer Online is a free outdoor and indoor location app designed for use by people who are blind. It supports onboard maps from OpenStreetMap, and can optionally augment these maps with online data from Google Places or Foursquare.

Nearby Explorer Online works with any device running iOS version 9 or later, but if the device does not contain its own GPS receiver, like most iPads and iPods, you must use an external GPS receiver outdoors. All iPhones contain GPS receivers.

The app works by letting you select from several different location related options about what to announce as you move. These include typical items like street name, address, and nearby places as well as the distance and direction to them. (All announcements are optional.) All of this information is shown on the Home screen and is available at any time, but typical use is to adjust the level of announcements, then lock the screen and put the device away. This keeps both hands free and lets your preferred voice speak the characteristics of the environment as you move.

You may also use the devices position and orientation to obtain additional targeted details such as pointing the end of the device to scan for points of interest or tilting it vertically to function as a compass. You may even mark a point, then use the position of the device to get haptic feedback about that point's location.

You may also create favorites, name them, and share them on OpenStreetMap so others can benefit from the places you mark and identify.

A transit feature is included which provides detailed mass transit schedules for over 100 metropolitan areas in the U. S. and Canada. The app treats transit stops just like favorites and points of interest by announcing their name and relative position as you move, but in addition, transit stops add next vehicle stop time, direction of travel, and route name to the announcements. You can use the transit schedules to look up times or even follow a route.
You may virtually move to any area and explore, search, or use the transit maps for that area.

For complete details about Nearby Explorer Online, see

Continued use of GPS running in the background can dramatically decrease battery life

What’s New

Version 1.30.00

* Adds support for sharing favorites. You can share favorites between Nearby Explorer and Nearby Explorer Online, or share them with other applications, such as Mail, to send them as an attachment.

* When using OpenStreetMap as the Search Provider, the category of the POI is now reported when it is available.

* Fixes a crash which occurred when attempting to open contacts from the Favorites view when at least one contact had no name.

Ratings and Reviews

4.4 out of 5
14 Ratings

14 Ratings

nyu2this ,

Great app, but for the search dialog

when you have to search for the search field and it's not automatically editing something is wrong!


American Printing House for the Blind
33.7 MB

Requires iOS 9.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.


English, Spanish

Age Rating
Rated 4+
This app may use your location even when it isn't open, which can decrease battery life.
© 2019 American Printing House for the Blind


  • Family Sharing

    With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.

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