Google Places for iPhone just got an update to include the Hotpot review and recommendation service that launched on Android back in November. Hotpot is basically a social review system that lets you give an overall rating for businesses found on Google Maps, more specific thumbs-up or thumbs-down ratings for particular aspects, and the option to leave detailed write-ups for others to consider. By adding friends to your Hotpot account, you’ll receive get tailored recommendations based on their tips. Likewise, the more you rate, the more tailored returned results are to your tastes.
Google Places was released as something of an extension to Maps that promoted simple categorized browsing of nearby locations, which is better for casual browsing than the required specific searching used by Google Maps. Hotpot in particular will have NFC connectivity in the Nexus S, allowing users to start reviewing just by waving their phone near a tag in the area. Of course, we’ll have to wait until we see NFC in an iPhone before that becomes an option for the iOS version of Places, but in the meantime, there’s a “Rate Now” button that launches into a review of the nearest spot based on GPS.
Anyway, Google Places is pretty awesome, and with the addition of Hotpot, it’s even awesomerererer. Download link is in the iPhone App Store below.