Google Maps now helps you plan group events

Decide where to eat without sending a deluge of links.

If you've ever tried to settle on a place to eat, you know how time-consuming it can be. If you're not trying to describe each and every restaurant, you're sending a flood of links. Google is making that simpler from now on. As promised back in May, it's rolling out a Group Planning feature on Google Maps for Android and iOS that helps you coordinate events with friends. When you've found places to go, you only have to press and hold to add it to a shortlist that stays on-screen as you find places. Once you're satisfied, you can both share the entire list on messaging services and vote on the choices from Maps itself.

The feature starts rolling out this week, so don't be surprised if you don't have access to it right away. It could be worth the wait, though. Group Planning was one of the most practical additions to Maps that we saw at Google I/O this year -- it's addressing one of the most common problems with nights out in a simple, straightforward way.