Google redesigns Zagat site, releases iOS and Android apps

The dining and nightlife ratings guide is now free and no longer requires registration.

In an attempt to continue its real-world indexing and the unification of all its services, Google has relaunched Zagat, the dining review and ratings company it acquired in September 2011.

Alongside the overhauled Web site are new iOS and Android apps. But most importantly, Zagat is accessible -- for the first time -- with no registration or fees required.

When Zagat was fully integrated into Google's services in May of last year, its Web site still required users to sign in with a Google+ account. Now with the barriers removed, Google's location-based dining guide is taking aim at the success and wide reach of competitor Yelp -- both on the Web and on mobile devices, considering that Yelp is integrated into Apple's map offering.

The new Zagat is focused on nine U.S. cities, and expansions are planned in the coming months. Residents of cities like San Francisco and New York City now have full access to ratings, reviews, and consumer surveys, in addition to videos, blogs, and curated lists by Zagat's local editors.

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