July 6, 2012 – Google has finally updated its Google Places app for iOS to version 1.4, adding Zagat business information and this is now known as Google+ Local.
iOS (previously known as iPhone OS) is a mobile operating system developed and distributed by Apple Inc. for the iPhone and iPod Touch, and other Apple devices such as the iPad and Apple TV.
As posted by Google in the app description, “Google Places is now Google+ Local! With Google+ Local you can see reviews from your friends, decide where to go with Zagat’s summaries of places and review your favorite places.”
This update comes about a month after Google’s rolling out of its update of Google Places Pages on the desktop to becoming Google+ Local Pages, which is incorporated with the company’s September acquisition of Zagat to make the once “strictly business” Google Places pages more social, creating “one simple experience across Google”.
So, this new development makes it more essential for businesses to claim their own Google Places profile and let their search engine optimization expert optimize their site for mobile as well as their profile mobile optimization. There will now be more mobile searchers with this recent development.
To use the new Google+ Local iOS app, upon signing in, you will be asked by Google for permission to use your location. You will then be encouraged by Google to sign in with your Google ID in order to be given access to read Zagat reviews via Google+, make recommendations with those in your Google+ Circles, and discover places your friends have visited.
For those who don’t want to link their account, you can select “Skip.”
Once logged in, you can see a menu that provides easy access to nearby restaurants, coffee shops, bars, ATMs, gas stations, hotels, attractions, and pizza. A “saved” icon and the option to type in a specific query are also provided. Along the bottom, you will see Google+ Local asking you if you’re near certain places; if so, there’s the option that lets you add a rating.
The updated Google+ Local iOS version 1.4 app is also now incorporated with voice search, enabling users to search via voice. Instead of inputting the texts of your query, just tap the microphone icon next to the search bar and verbalize your query and the app will automatically search them for you.
And just like the web version of Google+ Local, the iOS app has now search results that include Zagat business information such as the rating score, reviews and an overall summary (when available) of the business.
This updated Google+ Local app is available now via Apple’s iTunes App Store.
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