This New Google Maps Feature Will Make Planning Dinner With Friends So Much Easier

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It's never easy to get a group of friends on the same page when it comes to making plans — especially in a group text. You know, the one where everyone is sending links to all of the restaurants or new breweries they've been wanting to try. Instead of endlessly scrolling back through texts to find links to menus and more, Google Map's new Group Planning feature will simplify your next girls' night out. It's going to put an end to all of that back-and-forth that (inevitably) always ends up taking over your Friday afternoon group chat.

Google Maps is here to revolutionize your dinner plans with friends. Or that's what it seems like, anyway. On Wednesday, Sept. 26, Google announced a new Group Planning feature that allows you to easily add different restaurants to a shortlist. From there, you can share the list with all of your friends so they can efficiently view the options. It's easy to share, too. The list can be sent via text on any messaging platform, sent via email, or the app will generate a direct link to the list that you can also share, according to Google.

To add a link to the list, move the cursor bubble over the restaurant, and press down and hold. The restaurant will be instantly added to the list. Towards the lower righthand corner of your phone screen, you will see a small circle with a blue number right above it. This is where you can track how many items you've added to the list. You can click on the circle to view your dinner lineup.


Now, sadly the new feature won't make your decision for you or your friends, but it will help streamline the entire process. At the very least, if your group is trying to decide which barbecue joint or which vegan place to hit up, they can go in and review the options before making a decision on where they'd like to eat.

Instead of texting back and forth about where to dine, everyone with access to the list can vote in real time for their top choice directly in the Google Maps app, according to Google. To vote, you and your friends can click the "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" button located under each restaurant name. Anyone who has access to the list can also add or remove the dining options.


Planning a birthday surprise dinner or a celebratory brunch? You can name your restaurant list, too. This will help you keep all of your upcoming meals nicely organized.

Google will begin rolling out the new Group Planning feature starting in late September. The functionality will be available to all iOS and Android users, so expect it to hit your phone any day now. Just make sure to update your Google Maps app (or turn on automatic app updates in your phone's settings folder). This way you won't miss a beat when it comes to the new Group Planning feature.

This is seriously going to change the way my girls and I decide on where to get breakfast before our Saturday morning Target trips, or what happy hour we are going to meet at after work. Instead of rapid-fire texting, it will be much easier to devise a plan.