Google Maps is getting a few new updates, including a social feature that is designed to help people plan and collaborate with their friends. The navigation platform is also adding improved transit directions and emoji reactions.
The new social feature is designed to take planning out of your group chat and into Google Maps. The platform is updating its list feature to make it easier for people to share places, plan with friends and vote on group activities. With this new feature, you’ll be able to create a collaborative list to to start planning a hangout after you share a place in Maps with friends. Everyone in the group can add places they’re interested in visiting, and vote with an emoji, like a heart or a thumbs down.
Google says the new feature will allow users to plan an outing from start to finish right in the Maps app. For instance, you can invite your friends to collaborate on a list to decide on all of the activities you want to do this winter. Everyone can add the activities they’re interested in, like ice skating at a specific rink or checking out a holiday market. As people start to vote, everyone can get a sense of which activities are the most popular.
The new update is rolling out globally on Android and iOS in the coming weeks.
As for the improved transit directions, Google Maps is making it easier to see the best route to your destination, based on factors like ETA, number of transfers and the length of the trip. There’s also now the option to customize your route based on the type of transit you want to take, or if you want to take a route that requires the least amount of walking.
Plus, you will start to see exactly where the station entrances and exits are, what side of the street they’re on, and a clear walking route to and from it. These updates will help you ensure that you’re catching the right train in the right direction.
The transit updates will start rolling out on Android and iOS in the coming weeks.
Google Maps is also adding emoji reactions to photos, videos and reviews. If you don’t see an emoji that encapsulate what you’re feeling, in some cases you can create mashup reactions with Emoji Kitchen. Emoji reactions start rolling out globally today on Android and iOS.