mapps.jpg
(Credit: Screenshot by Download.com)

The older you get, the harder it becomes to make (and keep) plans with friends. Someone usually bails out at the last minute, no one can agree where to go, and it might feel easier to stay at home. Google Maps (iOS, Android) is rolling out its new group planning feature to ease the burden of hanging out.

Instead of a messy text thread, the new group planning feature lets you do all the planning and collaborate in one spot.

In Maps, you can create a short list of places to go, whether to eat, drink, or hang out. After you share it with your friends, they can vote on the selections, and add others. The feature also lets group members veto an option by removing it from the short list entirely.

SEE: OpenTable app now lets you reserve your favorite table at restaurants

When you find a place you like, simply long press to add it to a shortlist. It'll appear as a floating bubble, kind of like Facebook Messenger, in the corner of your screen. The restaurant with the most votes will be flagged.

The feature works for iOS and Android. Since it just launched today, it might not be available on all devices yet.

Google Maps got a revamp earlier this year and introduced the Explore tool. Explore works like a tour guide, helping users find the best places to eat, drink, and hang out. The feature helps you find restaurants that fit specific requirements like a rooftop restaurant, loved by locals, and more.

The Foodie List filters citywide recommendations, giving you a top five list of places to eat. The Explore tool also plays matchmaker by giving a restaurant a percentage on how much you might like it.

Explore helps you keep track of where you've eaten, what's new in the area, and also lets your friends vote on where to go.

FOLLOW Download.com on Twitter for all the latest app news.

Takeaways

  1. Google Maps is rolling out the group planning feature that lets your friend group add, remove, and vote on restaurants to eat at.
  2. The new feature is a larger expansion on Google's Explore tool release earlier this year.

Also see

Shelby is an Associate Writer for CNET's Download.com. She served as Editor in Chief for the Louisville Cardinal newspaper at the University of Louisville. She interned as Creative Non-Fiction Editor for Miracle Monocle literary magazine. Her work appears in Glass Mountain Magazine, Bookends Review, Soundings East, and on Louisville.com. Her cat, Puck, is the best cat ever.