When it comes to anything from the best margarita to an honest mechanic, you tend to lean on friends for a recommendation. But when you're in a different neighborhood or different town, it's not so easy.
Within Google Maps for mobile, there's a feature called Hotpot for Places that allows users to find ratings for nearby businesses - remember, it's a mobile app so it's tied to where you are at any given moment. But, in a classic chicken-and-egg dilemma, the company also needs you to rank these businesses with ratings of your own.
After all, who's going to rely on a ratings system for businesses when no one has actually rated it yet?
The company previously unveiled the features for the Android platform and said today that it is now rolling it out for the iPhone version of the app. Through the feature, users - who can have Hotpot profiles that can be shared (or not) in the Google ecosystem - can rate the businesses and offering some thoughts on the experience with that business. From the Google blog post:
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. 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.
If you're the type who rates and ranks every place you visit, this could make the sharing of that information that much easier. If you're the type who only likes to visit places that come highly recommended, this also may be the service for you.