Perhaps you recall that late last year, Google was in discussions to buy Yelp. Despite a supposed offer of $550 million plus earn-outs, Yelp walked away from the deal. But that isn’t stopping Google for entering Yelp’s business. Today, Google continues their fast-moving assault on local and location with a revamped Google Maps for mobile.
Central to Maps for mobile 4.4 is Google Places, the newer component of Maps which shows you, you guessed it, places nearby. But it’s much more than just another layer in Google Maps, with this release on every Android phone (1.6 and later), there will now be a dedicated Places icon that appears in the Android app launcher. So yes, Google just basically gave Places its own new app.
Clicking on this Places app takes you to a screen that shows you an overview of things nearby including Coffee, Bars, Hotels, Attractions, ATMs, and Gas Stations are some of the default ones. But guess what’s first on that list? Restaurants. Yep, the same restaurants that are central to Yelp’s core business. Of course, Google Places lacks the Yelp’s community of reviewers. But as you can see on each restaurant page, they have plenty of their own reviews that they’re pulling in — including reviews from publications like Zagat.
With the click of one icon on these pages, you can get directions or call to make a reservation. Obviously, you can also see details such as prices and menus.
One thing Google hasn’t connected just yet is the ability to check-in to these places. That’s a newer feature of Yelp’s mobile apps, and of course, the key ingredient of apps such as Foursquare and Gowalla. You can bet that this will come to Google Places too, as the Google Latitude API now allows for this functionality.
To find Maps for mobile 4.4, you can search in the Android Market for “Google Maps” (or click here on your Android phone). Google also notes that the revamped Places will be coming to BlackBerry users soon as well. No word on iPhone users.
Update: And even more intrigue.
Google provides search and advertising services, which together aim to organize and monetize the world’s information. In addition to its dominant search engine, it offers a plethora of online tools and platforms including: Gmail, Maps, YouTube, and Google+, the company’s extension into the social space. Most of its Web-based products are free, funded by Google’s highly integrated online advertising platforms AdWords and AdSense. Google promotes the idea that advertising should be highly targeted and relevant to users thus providing...
Yelp (NYSE: YELP) connects people with great local businesses. Yelp was founded in San Francisco in July 2004. Since then, Yelp communities have taken root in major metros across the US, Canada, UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Austria, The Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Australia, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Singapore, Poland and Turkey. Yelp had a monthly average of 86 million unique visitors in Q4 2012*. By the end of Q4 2012, Yelpers had written more than 36 million rich,...
Android is a software platform for mobile devices based on the Linux operating system and developed by Google and the Open Handset Alliance. It allows developers to write managed code in Java that utilizes Google-developed software libraries, but does not support programs developed in native code. The unveiling of the Android platform on 5 November 2007 was announced with the founding of the Open Handset Alliance, a consortium of 34 hardware, software and telecom companies devoted to advancing open standards...