Google Overhauls Zagat Ratings System

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There is no shortage of mobile restaurant review services: Yelp, OpenTable, Urbanspoon, even Instagram. But Zagat hopes its improved iOS app can stand out from the crowd.

Most notably, the Google-owned company is dropping its 30-point ratings scale for a simpler, five-point one, where five is the most favorable rating.

"We thought it was time to cook up an update to our iOS app to provide our foodie fans with the freshest, most relevant content—while on the go," Laura Slabin, director of Zagat's local content and community, said in a statement. "Beyond giving our logo a fresh coat of paint and new look, we redesigned the app so that it's centered around you.

"You know where you are and what you're hungry for, and your dining app should, too," she continued. "So based on your location and the time of day, our app serves up recommended places nearby."

Available now for iOS, the free app also promises improved search, a new visual design, and increased place coverage. Whether you want to celebrate a friend's birthday with kimchi, or are exploring a new city, Zagat for iOS lets users browse by cuisine or neighborhood, then sort by rating, price, or proximity, or filter by new places.

"While the new iOS app is bursting with upgrades, Zagat still works the way it always has: by gathering the wisdom of avid diners and distilling the consensus view into that one crystalline review you need," Slabin said.

Google acquired Zagat in September 2011, later incorporating the brand into its Google+ Local social experience. In the summer of 2013, the Web giant launched its first major update to Zagat—a renovated website and accompanying mobile apps.

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