Favorite Places are Getting a Big Update in Google Maps

Posted on February 13, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Cloud, Mobile, iOS, Android with 14 Comments

Favorite Places are Getting a Big Update in Google Maps

Google Maps has long supported the notion of favorite places. But with a new update to the Android and iOS apps this week, the way that Maps handles these places is getting much more sophisticated.

I’ve been using the “Saved” feature in Google Maps for years to save my favorite places. When you “save” a place in Google Maps, it appears as a yellow star on the map. So for example, last year before our home swap in Paris, I saved a number of places I intended to visit (alongside some actual favorite places I had previously saved).

The issue with this system is that it’s too simplistic. Just using my example above, you can see that there no difference between the places I was saving so I could visit them for the first time and those places that were already among my favorites. I tried to unsave places we didn’t care much more as we visited, but my map of Paris is still littered with stars.

This week, that’s going to change, thanks to a new update.

First, Google is improving its Maps app to support different types of saved places. So when you mark a place as “saved,” you can choose from a list of types of saved places. There are pre-set lists like “Want to Go” and “Favorites,” and you can of course add your own lists too. Finally!

(Google doesn’t mention this, but it should also support using a different colored star for each type of saved places list.)

Second, Google is also adding the ability to share your lists of saved places. This means you can save an entire list of favorite places with other easily now. So if a friend is going to Paris and wants some restaurant recommendations, I will be able to share my “Favorite Paris Restaurants” list with them. This works as you’d expect, using the Android share mechanism.

Google notes that these new shared places lists will work on the web-based Google Maps on PCs, and will work offline as well. Awesome.


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Comments (14)

14 responses to “Favorite Places are Getting a Big Update in Google Maps”

  1. 4796

    News Flash: Google implements a feature that Bing Maps (nee Here) has had for 5 years.  Well done Google, welcome to 2013.  

    Paul, have you tried Here on iOS/Android? The full offline/downloadable maps option is a major plus for Windows Maps (as it was previously in Here), especially when either travelling overseas (avoiding large data usage) or in rural areas of a country like Australia, Canada & US with large areas of spasmodic mobile coverage. I'd be interested your views regarding the offline options on Android/iOS, and the pros/cons of Here vs Google Maps on these 2 OS's. I'm assuming Google doesn't offer full offline navigation (please compare that if it does, tho last I heard it only offered limited offline use ie a 5km radius, not a whole road trip across Europe for example, which Here & Windows Maps both offer).

  2. 142

    Excellent! This is long overdue. I was just saving some locations yesterday for an upcoming trip to Amsterdam and was wishing I could categorize places. Now I wish they would also allow notes to be added...

  3. 289

    It's been a while but this seems vaguely reminiscent of Collections on HERE Maps. Did that functionality not make it into Bing Maps after Microsoft kind of reasserted themselves following the depreciation of HERE?

  4. 7063

    Basically it sounds like they are porting some of the features from My Maps into the regular maps interface to make them easier to access. That's good because it was always a bit clunky to have to remember to open the My Maps app to retrieve a collection of places.



  5. 5496

    I'm just saying, that this is already in the Windows phone maps.

  6. mortarm

    >...you can see that [there's] no difference...

    >...you can[, of course,] add your own...

    >This means you can [share] an entire list of favorite places with [others more] easily now.

  7. 442

    This is one thing that I think Google does far better at than Bing maps.  Microsoft needs to step up here.

  8. 2036

    In reply to Chris_Kez:

    Bing maps on the web offers collections.  Missing from the Windows app.