Google Intros Google Places App for iOS

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Google appears to prefer Wednesdays as the opportune time to make iOS app releases. This week was no exception, according to a PC World report. On Wednesday, the company introduced Google Places for the iPhone and iPod Touch.

For those seeking to discover new places, rate their experiences and share it with friends, the Google Places app is the perfect fit. There are some who suggest, however, that this app is simply the discovery feature pulled out of Google Maps, with a few social elements put in place so it can effectively compete with Yelp, Gowalla, FourSquare and others.

Users have access to nine icon slots to customize searches for quick access to things such as favorite restaurants, coffee spots and attractions. Google users can also swap in their favorite destination types to make it easier to find the desired spot while on the go.

A desktop browser can also be used to access some of the features within Google Places, such as adding friends and rating places. This method helps to boost Hotpot, Google’s new personalized recommendation engine, to provide better results that are not just based on where the user might go, but also places their friends may visit as well.

Google had slowed progress on its iOS releases following the Google Voice app removal issue. Now it seems the Internet giant is bent on leveraging the opportunity in this space. Last November, it not only released the official Google Voice app, it also updated Google Docs to be editable on the iPhone and iPad, and then released an official app for Google Latitude in December.

In other Google news, TechZone360 recently reported that Vizio is making the move into the smartphone and tablet computer space and plans to work with Google to effectively compete with Apple and Research in Motion in this space.

Vizio’s smartphone product will feature a four-inch screen and front- and rear-facing cameras. The Via Tablet will offer an eight-inch high-resolution screen, WiFi and a front-facing camera. Both devices will be powered by the Google Android operating system and will be sold in Walmart and Costco stores.


Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TechZone360 and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

TechZone360 Contributing Editor

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