Google has quietly announced the launch of Google Hotpot on its mobile blog. The service is a local rate and recommendation engine that sits as a widget on top of Google’s maps application for Android devices (iPhone to follow).
The widget allows users to rate local restaurants and write mini reviews, for example, by giving them a rating out of a possible five stars against criteria such as food, service and atmosphere.
Much like Foursquare, Hotpot also allows you to connect with friends via your computer so that you can view their recommendations and reviews when you are out and about. By regularly rating outlets users will also receive personalised search results that are customised according to their tastes.
The service, is hitting the ground running as it interogates the Google Places Directory which already has 5 million plus businesses logged globally.