Google's library of data is immense, sometimes dauntingly so. The new Google Places iPhone app is an elegant entry point into one particularly dark and disorganized fold of Google's mega-brain: their restaurant, bar, and venue listings.
What is it?
Google Places, iPhone, Free. Once upon a time, Google tried to buy the restaurant-rating site Yelp. When that fell through, they decided they'd just build their own version. Google Places for iPhone, which includes Google's new restaurant recommendation engine, Hotpot, is a key piece of that puzzle, a polished resource for finding nearby restaurants, bars, and cafes when people are out and about. Places has been on Android for a minute now, natch, but the iPhone version opens the service up to tons more users (and soon, with the Verizon iPhone, tons and tons of more users).