This morning, Google announced it was releasing several new features to its Maps application. In addition to a new user interface, the application now allows users to make restaurant reservations within the app.
Through a partnership with OpenTable, users in the U.S. can simply click on a restaurant within Google Maps, view the restaurant's basic information — typically its Google star rating, links to its website, hours of operation, and menu — and see user reviews. Instead of having to click away to the OpenTable app in order to make a reservation, available tables will be presented within Maps and users can confirm a reservation without opening a separate application.
An additional perk offers an estimate wait and travel time if users wish to use Uber to get to the restaurant of their choice. Both of these app-within-an-app options only appear if the user has the auxiliary apps (OpenTable and Uber) installed on their phone.
The industry leader in search, Google purchased restaurant ratings service Zagat in 2011 in order to get into the local review business. Since then, Yelp has accused Google of manipulating search results to favor Zagat listings over Yelp pages. Google denies the allegations. Considering the Yelp app's clunky map interface, Google Maps' new features may put it ahead of Yelp — at least on mobile.