Google Places with Hotpot blog

Got Android? Start Rating Even Faster!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010 | 3:59 PM

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Ever felt the need to leave a Hotpot review as soon as you’ve put down your silverware or signed the bill? You can on your Android-powered device with the Google Rate Places Widget!

You may have heard of the recent changes we’ve made to Google Maps for mobile on Android. While the new 3D and caching features in version 5.0 are supremely nifty, I want to call out the Rate Places widget that’s been included with the Maps app since version 4.7.  This widget can be installed on your phone’s Home Screen, and it automatically searches for places near your location, enabling you to give quick, convenient ratings while feedback’s still fresh in your mind (or in your stomach).

If you’ve ever installed an Android widget on your Home Screen, you know the process is simple and straightforward, and the Rate Places widget is no different. From your Home Screen, simply touch Menu > Add > Widgets, and then scroll through the list and select Rate Places. The widget will appear on your Home Screen, and you can move it around to any pane you’d like:

      


If you’ve enabled location services, the widget will use your current location to find places around you that you can rate. I live smack-dab in the geographic center of San Francisco, and there are hundreds of great restaurants and shops pretty much all around me. The Rate Places widget displays them in a convenient list, sorted by distance. Here’s what I see when I tap the little arrow on the right side of the widget:


So, say I just finished a beef brisket at Memphis Minnie’s and I’d like to leave a quick rating. After selecting the entry for ‘Memphis Minnie’s Bbq Joint,’ I can press the stars icon on the left side of the widget to provide a quick star rating. If I have a little extra time, I’ll press Say More which opens Google Maps and allows me to rate individual attributes or write a review of a place:

    

I’ll admit it: I’m getting a little obsessive about leaving mini-ratings, mainly because a) it’s so easy with the Rate Places widget and b) it doesn’t take much to unleash my inner critic. 

Happy rating!

Tom Dimopoulos, Google Maps for mobile Product Specialist

4 comments:

Jay said...

I can see how easy it is to rate on the fly with this Android App. I wonder when we can see the same app for the iPhone? Can't wait!

Vanessa Schneider said...

Soon, Jay, soon! Will keep you posted post-New Year's.

Wesley said...

Where did the widget go? I updated maps on my Nexus One the other day, and now the widget is missing.

Vanessa Schneider said...

@Wesley In order to simplify the user's rating experience, we have folded the functionality of the rating widget directly into Google Maps and Places for mobile. You can easily rate and review via the mobile Place page itself or via the Places app (the red pin icon). Once the phone has determined your location, the app shows the nearest business in the footer — just click it and rate. You can also select other nearby businesses via the footer. I hope this helps!

- Vanessa, Maps community manager