Google has launched Google Places with Hotpot for the iPhone. Given the iPhone’s pending availability to Verizon customers, this should provide a huge boost in use for Google’s recently launched local offering. Google Places with Hotpot has been available in Google Maps for Android, but now it’s a standalone iPhone app too.
Google Places with Hotpot lets you search for places that are nearby and personalizes the results based on places you’ve rated using the service in the past. More on how Hotpot works here.
"It can be pretty rewarding to discover a new place you love, but we also realize that there are some experiences you just can’t wait to share," says Greg Blevins, a software engineer with Google’s Hotpot team. "So Places makes it super simple to rate a place with your iPhone while you’re there. Just fire up the app and hit ‘Rate now.’ It will use your location to guess your current place and let you post a Hotpot review right from your phone. But it’s not just about getting to say what you think—the more you rate places, the more you’re sharing about your tastes and the more we can give you personally tailored recommendations."
The app can be found by searching for Google Places in Apple’s App Store or visiting this link. It’s available for all iOS devices in English for now. More languages will come later.
Google says you can expect more features and improvements to roll out soon. It would not be surprising to see some deals-type things make an appearance.
Google’s Marissa Mayer, who is now focusing on the company’s geo and local products, recently talked about how Google already has Groupon-like products, after Google’s failed bid to acquire the growing deals company. "I think that when you look at our overall suite of services, especially around our advertising, we already have some things that are like this," she said in an interview with Media Beat. "We have things like coupons and offer extension ads that allow merchants to basically make offers to our users. So we’re looking at how we can take that technology and put it to use, especially in the location space."
Google Places would be the location space, and getting the new app in front of iPhone users (a number which is sure to skyrocket next month) could be a powerful weapon.