Earlier today, Google released its official Places app for the iPhone and iPod touch. The app is already live in iTunes and available for free here. Just like on Android, Google Places with Hotpot service helps you discover nearby places such as restaurants and cafes you might like. Google Places, though, not only does find nearby places, it also does take a guess at the best place for you with personalized search results.
You can rate places and build custom searches so the app will learn from your preferences; rating a place is easy and fast thanks to a Rate Now button that you can tap on at any time. The more places you rate and the more Hotpot reviews you write, the more Google Places will learn from your tastes and habits and send personalized recommendations to you. As for social features built into the app:
If you want to make things even tastier, just visit google.com/hotpot from your desktop computer. Here you can add friends to the mix and quickly rate all the places you already know. Once you’ve added friends, you’ll find your results seasoned not just with reviews from around the web and recommendations based on your own personal taste, but also with your friends’ opinions too.
Google Places for iPhone seems like a nice first version of a service that Google is testing to bring custom, personalized search results and recommendations to the web and mobile devices. The interface design of the app seems to be based on the usual schemes adopted by Google in all their iOS clients. If you feel like giving Places and Hotpot for iPhone a try, the app is available here.
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