Zagat Stories March 19, 2015

Google Maps iOS app adds full-screen maps, improved voice search & transit directions

Google Maps for iPhone and iPad has received an update to version 4.4.0 bringing a new full-screen map view, improved transit directions and voice search, and the ability to filter search results for Zagat-reviewed restaurants.

Google notes that the new full-screen mode can be activated by “tapping an empty spot on the map,” while improved voice search brings the ability to “type, or tap the mic and say, “directions to” a place for faster results.”

The update also includes new transit line colors on maps when viewing transit directions and a Zagat filter for restaurants in search results.

The updated Google Maps app for iOS, version 4.4.0, is available on the App Store now.

What’s New in Version 4.4.0

• View a full-screen map by tapping an empty spot on the map • See transit line colors on the map when you get transit directions • Filter search results for Zagat-rated restaurants (where available) • Type, or tap the mic and say, “directions to” a place for faster results • Bug fixes

Zagat Stories December 19, 2013

Google’s Zagat app makes its way to the iPad, complete with ratings for shops and hotels

Earlier this year, Google launched Zagat for iPhone and iPod touch. The application is Google’s form of allowing users to discover new places, such as restaurants, across many cities in the United States. Today, Google has updated the application with support for the iPad’s larger display. Also in the mix is support for ratings and reviews for shops and restaurants. Support for Charleston, South Carolina and Nashville, Tennessee has also been added. The 2.0 update is free on the App Store.

Zagat Stories July 10, 2013

As reported on 9to5Google last night, Google is rolling out a huge update to its maps app for Android but they are also promising the updates will hit iOS ‘soon’.

  • Designed for tablets: A dedicated tablet design brings all the features of this new app to Android tablets and iPads, which makes exploring the world from the comfort of your living room much more fluid, smooth and fun.
  • Enhanced navigation: In addition to current traffic conditions, we’ve added two new features to help you navigate around traffic. You can now see reports of problems on the road that you can tap to see incident details [Hello Waze]. While on the road, Google Maps will also alert you if a better route becomes available and reroute you to your destination faster. This feature is available only on Android and is coming soon to iOS.
  • Reviews, Zagat and Offers: There’s a new 5.0 star rating system that gives you a quick read on how your friends and others rate places like restaurants, bars and cafes. For an expert’s opinion, the Zagat badge of excellence and curated lists are integrated into search results so you can quickly spot the very best places. From “Best Restaurants to meet for a drink in NYC” to “Best Restaurants in the Mission” in San Francisco, Zagat’s there to help you uncover the local gems.

There’s also a lot of housecleaning, including retiring Latitude (another one bites the dust!) and some changes to offline and My Maps.

The updated Android app looks a lot like the Maps app Google released for iOS at the end of last year (prominent reviewers called the iOS Maps app much better than Android’s Maps app). Another interesting fun fact: Because carriers and manufacturers are so slow to update Android, only 60% of Android users will be able to use the new maps (Android 4.03+ only), while over 90% of iOS users are on iOS 6+, which will get the new features. expand full story

Zagat Stories May 15, 2013

We showed you significant updates to Google Maps which leaked early this morning, and Google just announced updates to Maps at Google I/O.

Google also announced that its Maps API is used by over 1 million active sites and accessed by 1 billion unique visitors weekly.

Maps will now feature a 5 star rating system for locations across all platforms. Users can now swipe across results in a simple, gesture user interface. Zagat reviews are now more prominent with badges and cards simplifying its appearance. These cards now include a new Offers experience with partners including Starbucks.

Google Maps for Mobile also includes improvements to rerouting in transit and explore features. Google Maps for iPad was demoed during the keynote, which we expect to see with the iPhone update this summer. expand full story

The best 4K & 5K displays for Mac

Zagat Stories December 4, 2012

Google adds horizontal carousel for web based iPad searches about local places

Google updated its web experience for U.S. iPad users who search for local places, such as bars and restaurants, on Google Search. The Mountain View-based company called the new feature a “horizontal carousel” of results that will display at the top of page, while normal search results will display below. Tapping on a business in the carousel, as seen in the image above, will display quick information about the location, including: address, Zagat rating, phone number, location on a Map, and a link to the website—accompanied with pictures. There’s also a new map link in the upper-right hand corner that shows you nearby places on a map.

Google has always shown its support for tablets and smartphones on its mobile Search page, and today’s update is definitely beneficial. When calling a restaurant to place an order or make a reservation, I’ve found Google to be the quickest way to find the needed information (definitely beating apps like Yellow Pages to get the same information).

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