Another included feature: the ability to quickly rate a place from your phone while you're there using Google's location tracking. And the more places you rate, the better Google can predict and recommend the types of places you're most interested in. The app will work with your online preferences too, so further refine your taste at google.com/hotpot. Only one question remains: will it be as addicting as the full website?
Here's the deal: you can join Hotpot by using your Google account, then just start rating restaurants, hotels, parks, bars, whatever, around you. You can also leave a short review, and earn points for every place you rate. This is the part that gets me, cause I want to win. Sure, it's not a race, but I'm highly competitive and racking up points (therefore "beating" my friends) really motivates me. Not only that, but there's a ticker at the top of Hotpot that tells you how many more ratings you need to provide before getting more place options (in my mind, I call it leveling up). Google definitely got Hotpot right, and I'm fairly obsessed.
Have you used Hotpot yet? What do you think?
It's easy to get started: visit the Hotpot page and enter a category (like "restaurants") and a location. Search results appear as a grid displaying large images and business information. Click stars to rate each location, or choose to skip the location altogether, as "Not Interested," or save it for later. After giving a location a positive rating, you're asked to write a small review or share a tip — but if you choose not to, the prompt disappears on its own.
For more on Hotpot (including how to become the top influencer in your friend group), read more.