So, did you ever figure out what Near on PS Vita was actually supposed to do? Seems like Sony didn't either, since it plans to disable several of the app's key features along with the entirety of Maps... and I hope you're not too attached to the YouTube app, either.
Sony explained its intentions to shut down and/or scale back all three applications in two support (opens in new tab) articles (opens in new tab). Maps will be disabled in a PS Vita software update planned for March, meaning you won't be able to whip out your 3G-enabled PS Vita to find your way around unfamiliar surroundings any more.
Ok, what it means for real-life people is that the location address and map features of Near will also no longer work. The Out-and-About History and Radar and the Local Chart data will all be deleted within seven days of the update. Better claim those Game Goods now, just to be safe... even if you, like me, are not 100-percent certain what those are despite owning a Vita for several years.
Meanwhile, the YouTube apps will be removed from the PlayStation Store after January 28 and will "no longer be supported" after April 20, 2015. Watching videos on YouTube's mobile site via the PS Vita browser works almost as well, minus a few features like putting videos on repeat or changing video quality partway through.
Not a great sign for your handheld console when bits start rotting away, but at least you can still use Vita for PS4 Remote Play. Or, uh, Persona 4 Golden.