This Google Maps Feature Makes Picking a Restaurant With Your Friend Group Way Less Stressful
Getting four or more people to pick a time, date, and place to meet up and eat food together is truly a feat of endurance. Parse any "Brunch??" email thread with, like, 68 responses (conservatively), and you'll find an endless loop of phrases like "Sooo sorry to cancel last minute!" "Can we do March 11, 2019?" and "Ugh, I have a thing on March 11, 2019. But I'm free on Wednesday and Sunday the week after that!" And so on, forever and ever.
Luckily, Google has made at least one part of the friend group meetup a little easier: choosing a restaurant. Starting today, you can long press on any restaurant in Google Maps to add it to a shortlist (which appears as a small floating bubble on the side of your screen). Once your list is complete, you can share it with your friends on any messaging platform, add or remove additional places, and vote for your favorites in Google Maps. It really shortens the process of deciding between ramen, BBQ, and tapas while still keeping your vegan brother and that one gluten-free bud happy. To try it out, head to the Play Store or App Store to update the app.
Of course, this isn't the only major feature Google Maps has rolled out in 2018. Back in June, the tech giant introduced something called "The Foodie List"—an explore tab tool that highlights buzzy restaurants chosen by local experts and publications (as well as Google's algorithms), then checks them off once you've dined there (as long as you have Location History switched on). It's a way to keep track of the places you've been and the places you want to go (and it's a godsend while traveling). Google Maps has also been testing a new "For You" tab, which clues users in on new restaurant openings and pop-ups from their favorite chefs, both locally and in cities they choose to follow.