Google Places for iPhone is Now Google+ Local
After Google purchased Zagat it changed Google Places to Google+ Local, and now the iPhone app is finally seeing the same change.
The new Google+ Local for iPhone is still very similar to the previous version of the app with a few changes. The app still helps users find nearby restaurants, banks, post offices, bars, hotels, and more. Users can just tap any of the icons on the main screen or search for the places they want to find.
Like most Google iPhone apps Google+ Local offers voice search so users don’t need to type in their searches. Unfortunately iPhone users will find the voice search slower than some Android users because the voice library isn’t stored locally on iOS like it is in Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.
The new app also includes Zagat ratings for locations for reliable reviews. Not every location will have Zagat ratings in suburban or rural areas, so the feature is much more useful in cities.
Google user reviews are also included in the results for the app, with an emphasis placed on people within the user’s Google+ circles. If a friend on Google+ rated and reviewed a location the app will be sure to bring the review to the top so users can see what people they presumably trust thought about the location.
Even in its latest incarnation the Google+ Local app doesn’t offer the granularity of Yelp or the dedicated Zagat app. It’s a nice update, but we don’t see why anybody would use this over the also free Yelp.