updated 04:00 pm EDT, Fri April 8, 2011
Google Hotpot now permanent in Places
Google on Friday was happy enough with the state of its Hotpot location recommendation service to make it a permanent staple of Google Places. The once experimental feature will now be subsumed into the place pages on the web and in mobile apps. Uniting the two should have a practical benefit by simplifying the link between the basic place information and how the places have been reviewed.
The company expected Hotpot to expand its reach in Places, although it didn't say how.
Hotpot was unveiled in November for what's widely regarded as an attempt to compete with services like Yelp. On Android, it has meant a virtually built-in recommendation system. With an emphasis on NFC for Google Places, the recommendations could soon come just by swiping a phone across a store tag without having to run a search or use GPS.