The latest version of Google Maps on Android comes with Hotspot, a new "local recommendation engine" that will help users discover places based on ratings from themselves and their friends, Google said in a blog post.
The goal with Hotspot is to make local search results for places on Google Maps more personal, relevant and trustworthy, the company said.
To access Hotspot on their smartphones, users will have to upgrade to version 4.7 of Google Maps for Android, which is available for download and is compatible with Android 1.6 or later. To make it as easy as possible for users to rate new places, Google has also developed a new rating widget, which users can install from the homescreen, that identifies the user's location and lists nearby places of interest.
Hotspot works with Google Places, which is a database of locations such as restaurants and bars that is integrated with Google Maps. Users can review those locations marked by Places within Hotspot, which can be accessed through a Web browser or the mobile widget.
Send news tips and comments to email@example.com