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Google updates its Places iOS app to voice-enhanced Google+ Local

Google has updated its Places app for iOS to the Zagat-enhanced Google+ Local, which incorporates voice search, among other things.

"Google Places is now Google+ Local!" Google said in the app description. "With Google+ Local you can see reviews from your friends, decide where to go with Zagat's summaries of places and review your favourite places."

The move comes about a month after Google rolled out an update to Google+ on the desktop that incorporated the company's September acquisition of Zagat. Google+ Local was the company's newest social integration, and created "one simple experience across Google," Avni Shah, director of Google's product management, said at the time.

The main upgrade to the Google+ Local app is the ability to search via voice. Tap the microphone icon next to the search bar and speak your query.

Google also promised an improved UI for searching places that aren't nearby, improved security, and a variety of bug fixes.

Upon signing in, Google will ask for permission to use your location. The company then encourages you to sign in with your Google ID in order to read Zagat reviews via Google+, make recommendations with those in your Google+ Circles, and discover places your friends have visited. Those who don't want to link their account, however, can select "Skip."

Once inside, a menu provides easy access to nearby restaurants, coffee shops, pubs, cash points, petrol stations, hotels, attractions, and pizza. There's also a "saved" icon and the option to type in a specific query. Along the bottom, Google+ Local will ask you if you're near certain attractions; if so, there's the option to add a rating.

The updated app is available now via Apple's App Store.

A May update to Google's Maps for Android added support for local offers as well as indoor walking directions for participating businesses. To access the local Offers, a user must first click on the icon to the upper left, which provides access to Navigation, Latitude, and Places, among others.