Can Google Maps Help You and Your Friends Finally Decide Where to Eat?

So maybe that group text message thread won't be so crazy.

Person barbecue beef on bbq pit during korean meal set in restaurant


Person barbecue beef on bbq pit during korean meal set in restaurant

Photo by: ThamKC


Here’s one to tuck into your There Is Literally an App for Everything file: Google Maps has now added a feature that helps you and your friends negotiate where to eat in a supremely democratic fashion.

Or maybe you should file it under Things You Never Knew You Needed or Apps That Will Save Your Friendships? Up to you.

The new Group Planning feature is just rolling on both Android and iPhone platforms and is reportedly part of a push by Google Maps to help users go beyond just getting from point A to point B and to actually dig in and explore neighborhoods in a personalized manner. It aims to shortcut the laborious, back-and-forth texting about where to, say, meet for dinner.

The intricate, intense negotiations -- one person in your group of pals planning to get together is in the mood for Chinese; another is ruling it out because she had it for lunch -- can feel endless.

What Google Maps’ new feature lets you do is search for and compile a list of restaurant options and share that list with your group of friends, and then it allows everyone in the group to vote on it, according to TechCrunch. (CNBC has some nice visuals showing how it all works; and a Google Maps product manager explains the functionality here.)

The members of your group can also remove options from the list and add others, which, OK, also sounds kind of complicating, but hey it’s still better than a lengthy text chain in which everyone feels the need to explain their rationale for why they really don’t want to go to this Thai restaurant or that bistro.

Anyhow, at the end of the day, if all works as planned, the votes will determine which restaurant will suit the most people in the group and consensus will calmly and quietly have been reached. And those whose top choice was voted down? Um, maybe they can bring a sandwich?

Photo: iStock

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