Hotpot - Social Review

After a few days playing with the Google Places iPhone App I thought I'd write a few notes.

The App it's self is pretty clean and easy to use. It comes with some logical icons to get you started including of course one for Google's obsesion with Pizza.

All the icons run the same way, e.g. a search term, and adding your own search term as an icon is simple and straightforward. I couldn't see anyway to use a custom icon at this point. Hope the ability to do that will in a later update.

The intergration of places is set to be play major roll in Google's social strategy. Once businesses start to realise the benifits of claiming their place page (see video below).

Of the few reviews I've made so far the process seems to work pretty well.
I was going to gripe about how the review I made for the DIoA landed up on page three of the Google user reviews, which was rather odd, as I'd expect them to be listed chronologically. But it's since jumped to the top of the list, so maybe there's a short delay before reviews are re-listed.

There are a coupld of things I feel are missing at this point.

1. I'd like to see a feed for reviews I've made show on my maps profile page.
This would allow me to publish reviews in my Buzz stream, which would expose them to people I'm connected with, but not connected on HotPot.

2. I'd like to be able to sort reviews for a place on place pages, much like you can on Map Profile pages ("Sort by date - Sort by rating").

3. I'd like to see the option of of adding a link to my Google profile on my Maps profile page.
People who are connected with me can view a link to my main Google profile when they visit my Maps profile page, but what's the point in that? If we're connected then they already know that information!
That you can't might hint that you will soon be able to limit the visibility of your entire profile (or parts of it) to your friends (or groups), much like you can with your contact data, which would make it possible to run your Google social exposure much like Facebook.

You can see the latest reviews from your HotPot Friends on Google Maps (when logged in of course).
This is a neat feature, which I'd also like to see this in the native App itself. Currently you will see rattings and comments from friends below an entry in the results: if one of the results has been rated. I'd like a tab that just shows activity from my friends.

So that's it: a few quick thoughts.
What do you think?

Last thought: Google offers would be an obvious tie-in to Places.

Update: Google offers does tie into place pages.

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