Google confirms it's shutting down Google+ Local for iOS

Searching for the product in Apple's App Store returns no results

Google is shutting down the Google+ Local places and discovery app for iOS devices and will be transitioning its features over to its Maps app, the company said Friday.

Google+ Local was an iOS-based app that offered several discovery services such as place recommendations based on the user's friends and location, and also Zagat summaries and business reviews. As of Aug. 7, it will close as a stand-alone product, although its features will be incorporated into Google's Maps app for iOS, a spokeswoman said.

The app already appears to have been pulled from Apple's App Store -- searching for it returns a message saying it is currently not available in the U.S. store.

Google+ Local joins a range of other products and services recently closed by Google. The company officially announced Friday that it was also pulling the plug on its Shopper app for Android- and iOS-based devices, effective August 30, in an effort to focus instead on its search service and Google Shopping site. Shopper was an app that let people find information on products by scanning them or through voice and text search.

The company's longstanding Google Reader service for RSS feeds met its demise earlier this month.

Google did not provide additional information about why Google+ Local was killed off. But it is clear that in recent months the company has focused on enhancing both its Maps product and Google+ social network, while at the same time streamlining other services through product closures.

On Android and iOS, Maps received a range of new features earlier this month including improved search, navigation and interface design. The company concurrently announced that Google Latitude and check-ins would be killed off as part of the update and incorporated over to the Google+ social network.

Even bigger changes to Maps were unveiled at the company's I/O developers conference in May. Those enhancements included the ability for users to add personalized landmarks as long as they are logged into the service.

Meanwhile, Google faces mounting pressure to demonstrate value to users with its Google+ social network as it competes against Facebook and Twitter. A range of features for that product were also rolled out in May, such as a redesigned social stream, automatic hashtagging and photo-sharing enhancements.

Google+ Local launched in 2011. There was an Android version too, but it linked only to the old version of Google's Maps app. When Maps for Android was updated earlier this month, Google+ Local's functionality was integrated into that product.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

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