Sonar, one of the more popular “find friends nearby” apps, has formally announced the launch of its redesigned Android app as it leaves private beta status. Of the noteworthy changes, the most important new features include a Friends Tab, found right beside the People and Places tabs. Additionally, the startup has added localization in 6 languages.

If you’re already seen these changes, it’s because the rollout has been in a “soft launch” period since earlier this week. Now these changes have been announced, but we’ve yet to see a similar update on iOS.

The Friends Tab is an important addition, allowing users to find and chat with their Sonar Friends, even when they’re not nearby. This extends Sonar into a general communication tool, which could boost engagement, but also dilutes the app’s geo-focused niche.

This is the first major change since we last covered Sonar back in May, following the release of status updates and messaging. The startup’s goal still seems to be focused on building the perfect “real-time, here-now network,” but now “here-now” is a bit more flexible.

➤ Sonar

Featured image: jeffreyw