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January 13, 2011

Google Places for iPhone

Why build a local search app for iPhone when the Maps app already lets you find businesses and local attractions? Apple's Maps app doesn't use all the information that's available about businesses, doesn't show photos, reviews and other details. That's one of the reasons why Google decided to build an iPhone app called Google Places.

"We realize the importance of finding places you'll love while you're out and about, no matter what mobile device you use. And Places with Hotpot not only helps you find places near where you are, it gives you the best places to go for you by personalizing your search results," explains Google.

The application integrates with Google Hotpot and uses your ratings and your friends' ratings to recommend other places. Google Places encourages users to rate businesses and to post reviews in order to get better search results and that's an interesting proposition. What's missing from the app is a list of business you've previously rated and the Hotpot feed that's now available on Google Maps.


Geo services are one of the key Google assets and it's very likely that Google will use them to create a stealth social network. Google Maps is probably the best mapping service and one of the most popular local search engines, so the social layer will have an important user base. Unlike Google Buzz, Hotpot doesn't have privacy issues yet and it doesn't feel like a different app because it's properly integrated with Google Maps.

Google Places for iOS can be installed from the Apple App Store and it's only available in English.

13 comments:

  1. is this avaliable to US only?

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  2. No, it's not US only. I switched to a different country in iTunes and I could still download the app.

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  3. Is this available for Indian users too? And when Google announce their free version for mobile users like facebook did? I just published one article on "Want To Use Facebook on Mobile For Free?" Do you have any Idea when Google will do so? I know you have all secrets of Google ;)

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  4. It's a decent app, but it's annoying that whenever I click on the "More Info" button or try to see the detailed review by a user that it closes the app and opens Safari instead.

    Google's main iPhone app does this to. I wish it worked like the Twitter or Facebook app when they open external links. They stay in context with the app and add the back button at the top so you can go back to it.

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  5. Not available in Croatia :(

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  6. One of the things I was missing on my iPhone compared to my Android!

    Thank you Google. Why couldn't you just incorporate that together in the Google Search application?

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  7. Just need to be able to change the measurements to metric. Not everybody uses miles, Google! ;-)

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  8. @Irfan - yes it is available for Indian users too. In fact, I found it a lot better than some other iPhone location apps such as Around Me. Google Places has good information about businesses in Delhi, not sure about other cities though, because I've used it only for Delhi till now.

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  9. Anyone know how to (if possible) to switch to metric conversion?

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  10. @Anonymous - It seems there is no support for metric conversion at the moment. I'm sure in a future update this will be added since people want it (read the app reviews).

    I'm also wanting a way to 'Send' the results via SMS, email, etc...

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  11. Thx Angelo, hopefully we will get some settings and more options, good idea to send results... :)

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  12. Please add metric units. Only 3 countries in the world are non-metric, Burma, Liberia, and the US...

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  13. please anyone can explain, how do i delete my search-input in this app.
    Example search: LA (it was just a test) - how i delete it
    co-worker told me put a folder in there and moved in there....
    smart man: he wrote folder ... now its searching for folder not creating a folder
    please help me out here

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