Mobile Commerce

Google’s Restaurant Reservations Play

Google is releasing new versions of its Maps mobile app that will let iOS and Android smartphone users make restaurant reservations and get time and price estimates for rides through Uber without leaving the app, according to TechCrunch.

The updated app, which will be pushed out to mobile devices over the next few days, adds restaurant reservations through OpenTable. The reservation function is integrated into the Maps app, so rather than switching apps, users can drill their way down to complete the reservation as long as the restaurant is listed with OpenTable and is located in the U.S.

Maps also now includes Uber time and price estimates as a traveling option, along with conventional driving times and public transit and walking directions. The Uber feature is an expansion of Uber integration that Google rolled out in a May app update, and will only appear if the user has the Uber app installed.

TechCrunch notes that the Uber integration represents tighter support by Google for a company that it has invested in. Uber is part of the portfolio of the search giant’s investment arm, Google Ventures. Building Uber time and price right into the Maps app gives it a significant advantage over taxis and other forms of private transit. But Google hasn’t yet taken the extra step to let users actually book an Uber ride within the Maps app.

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