The newest feature of Google Maps called Explore, implements options known from its rival Yelp. The tool allows users to find, rate and see reviews of local businesses.
According to the web giant its more than just rattling off names, numbers and addresses like the white pages. Explore is a highly visual part of Google Maps that gives you a quick survey of the best options around you across five categories: Eat, Drink, Shop, Play, Sleep. The tool incorporates all the reviews Google acquired when it bought Zagat – small restaurant guide site, and it combines those with Googles own user-generated ratings.
Explore feature launched at the same time that Google Maps became available on the iPad, and its perfectly suited for tablets. The iPad and other tablets offer just enough physical screen space to deliver the loads of information about various locations that Explore cooks up. Smartphones only allow you to view so much on the screen at once.
Explore feature is Googles next big move towards conquering its rival Yelp, and this is only the first of many Google Maps innovations that should reflect on recommendation sites performance. For example, Google says it eventually plans to launch more social features into Maps, such as including plugging your favorite locations, and will allow you to share them with friends or the greater public. Yelp has its forums, but being able to just take a map full of notable locations and make it public is much more simple and well organized.
The new Maps app has some other useful improvements as well, such as on-the-go navigation rerouting that helps direct you around traffic without the need to interact with the app. Google also now offers offline maps in the iOS version.
Googles share price rose 1.57% yesterday offsetting recent decline triggered by lower than expected earning data. The tech giant is up 28.74% on a year-to-date basis.