Location-based Android widget is now available; iPhone version is on the way.
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Google on Monday took the wraps off Hotpot, a recommendation engine for Google Maps on Android.
With the free tool, users can tap their friends' suggestions to discover new places, said Mat Balez, product manager, in a blog post. Google plans to soon release an iPhone version, he said. In addition, people can access Hotpot via the web.
Users can write and publish ratings and reviews from their mobile phones using a new Google widget, installed from their smartphone's homescreen, said Balez. In addition, users can post via any Place page, he said.
"So, when you polish off the crispiest carnitas taco you've ever eaten, you can pull out your Android phone to celebrate the event and give that taqueria the public love it deserves," Balez noted.
Hotpot will take users' own ratings to create customized and personalized search results, he said. In turn, users will see their friends' recommendations for places to visit and restaurants to frequent, for example.
The recommendation location tool complements the Google Maps for Android 4.7 application, which works on all Android 1.6-plus devices. Hotpot works with Google Places, the developer's geolocation solution that competes with Facebook Places and Foursquare, among others.
"We hope you enjoy getting and giving personalized recommendations to make place finding better and more fun," Balez said.