Just checked out the new Google Places Iphone App – “now with Hotpot!”. It’s a nice enough local reviews service
The UI is simple and looks good.
Besides being able to review a business, which is nothing new these days, perhaps the biggest thing the app has going for it is the aggregation of all of the other review sites’ reviews.
It’s not clear to me that sifting through 50 reviews from various sites on a Google Places App is any better than sifting through 50 reviews on a Yelp App, but users may perceive a benefit from having multiple sources.
That said, there’s nothing fun about this app yet. I am sure they will roll out check-ins and I don’t have a big network on HotPot yet so I am not getting any social recommendations.
I imagine this will get some trial because it’s a Google App, but I think they’ll need to come up with something more than just a me-too experience to get this to be people’s go-to local reviews app. They are also suffer from the too-many-Google-iPhone-Apps problem. I already have a Google Voice Search App, Google Maps App and I am sure there are more. I think they’d have a better chance at adoption if all of these were in a single App.
Still I would keep an eye on this. I imagine Google is going to throw everything including the kitchen sink at local.