There are few things as enjoyable as going out with friends, but actually getting there is something that can take a lot of debate and discussion. Google is trying to help with that, as it’s started rolling out Group Planning in Google Maps. This is a feature that was first announced at Google IO earlier this year, and this week it’s arriving on iOS and Android.
At its core, Group Planning looks to help streamline the process of picking a place to go. Instead of starting a group chat and sharing a mass of links that might get lost in the conversation, Group Planning instead allows users to add Google Maps locations to a short list that can then be shared with friends. Those friends can add locations of their own to the list, so you can gather suggestions from everyone in your group. To add a location to a list, all you need to do is long press any location card within Google Maps.
Once people have put forth their recommendations, your group can vote on locations by giving each one a thumbs up or thumbs down. It appears that you can vote on multiple places, so if you’re open to visiting more than one location, you can give all of them a thumbs up. Google Maps will show everyone which one is leading in votes, making the decision-making process a bit easier.
Group Planning can be used with any type of place listed in Google Maps. This means you can use it to find a place to eat, decide on a club or bar for a night out, or choose between any other type of place. Group Planning is just the latest in a string of releases that have bolstered Google Maps’ feature set, and it certainly won’t be the last.
If you’ve got Google Maps installed on your phone, you should see Group Planning go live sometime this week regardless of if you’re using an iOS or Android device. We’ll keep an ear to the ground for more Google Maps updates, so stay tuned.