Google releases new Zagat app to help diners find good eats

Restaurant ratings guide Zagat has a new app available in the Google Play Store. Now owned by Google, the new Zagat app has been completely rebuilt from the ground up. Users can search for nearby restaurants based on different criteria like ratings, cuisine or other features. In some cases, users can even make reservations at participating restaurants. The selection is limited to U.S. cities, with Zagat claiming to have 30,000 establishments in the database. Also of note, the Zagat app uses Google+ for sign-in purposes, which you may want to do to submit your own restaurant reviews and ratings.

If you are interested in giving it a try, use one of the download links below. Be sure to check back in and let us know how the meal was and whether the reviews were accurate.

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Google Play Download Link

Google set to acquire Frommer’s Travel Brand

It’s clear that Google intends to bolster its local reviews in any way they can. They proved that with the purchase of the restaurant rating giant Zagat late last year. Now Google is all set to acquire Frommer’s Travel Brand, one of the bestselling travel guides in America. Frommer’s also includes over 350 guidebooks across 14 series, as well as other media including the award winning Frommers.com website which covers over 3,500 destinations. Needless to say, Frommer’s is a huge acquisition for Google as it’s an opportunity to broaden its consumer offerings outside of restaurant reviews and provide information about hotels and certain destinations.

The big question is whether Google intends to change things, either the Frommer’s guidebooks will continue to be published in print or whether they will eventually migrate entirely to online. Or perhaps they may liquidate it into Zagat or maybe even into Google Maps.

Either way, I’m sure Google will find a perfect way to implement this acquisition. I just can’t wait for this to come to Google Maps on my Android device. Any of you guys excited about this recent purchase by Google?

source: Wall Street Journal

Google Places Is No More, Google+ Adds Zagat Rankings And Is Now Called “Google+ Local” (Video)

If you were wondering what Google was going to do with the newly acquired Zagat, just check out your Google+ page.  The search giant has added a little kick to Maps and to your general search functions on the site.  You’ll now find Zagat’s point system in place and will automatically pop up in search results when looking for your favorite resaurant or hot spot.  And if you’ve always been weary about who’s leaving feedback on these places, fear not. The site will now allow you to view Google+ friends’ favorite places and what they’ve had to say about them, certainly a review you can trust, right?  Google has even added a Local tab on Google+ to show you recommendations.  So, if you need to find the hottest spot around, your favorite sandwich or a sushi place, you’re in for a treat with Google’s new service.  The feature is now live so head on over to your Plus page and get started. Check out the videos below as well touting the new service.  Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.  
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Google Maps-Based Game Set To Be Launched For Google+ [Video]

What would you say if I told you that you could play a game using Google Maps and Google+? You’d probably call me crazy and think that would be unusual, if not impossible. Well kids, the ability to play a game using both Google Maps and Google+ is now a reality. Let me explain: Google has nonchalantly released a promo video which highlights the ability to “Play your world, like never before” and then leads you to a link to “Start Here“, directing you to other cool videos on how to use Google Maps.

The game is based off a unique technology used by the Google Maps development team. The technology— called WebGL– features a unique 3D engine powering the graphics. What’s special about the technology is it can create 3D web graphics you can see without having to install additional drivers or software.

There’s one other subtle feature as well for this concept as well.  You remember how Google acquired Zagat, but has been mysteriously mum about its intentions since? Well it looks like we now have a hint of Zagat’s integration with Google services. If you look at the demo carefully, you’ll see the ability to earn more points for rolling over Zagat-rated venues and locations. Neat, isn’t it? You can always count on Google to be clever and witty when it comes to their products and services.

Look for the game to come out sometime next month. In the meantime, check out the video below to get an idea of how this cool game works.

 

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[via Mashable]

 

 

 

 

Google Gets Zagat

Google Inc. has further advanced upon their enduring pursuit of creating original content for millions of users with its most recent acquisition of the well-known restaurant ratings giant, Zagat. Google remarks that Zagat, which was founded by Tim and Nina Zagat in 1979, will become a “cornerstone” of their local commerce going forward, a market segment that Google has struggled with in establishing an effective strategy.

Since its inception more than thirty years ago, Zagat has grown far beyond its early limited reach encompassing the New York City area only and has become a trusted and well-loved brand all over the world with its culturally recognizable 30-point scale reviews of food, decor, service and cost. Additionally, the guide includes descriptive user-written reviews and comments for just about every restaurant or service you could come across. It is precisely these ratings and reviews that will help Google tap into millions of small neighborhood businesses and generate advertising revenue as it brings local information to its search results and competes with the likes of Yelp, TripAdvisor and CitySearch.

How do you rate the Zagat acquisition? Leave us a comment below.

[via googleblog]