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.