Summer is over and most Googlers are back at their desk working on releasing features we were promised at I/O 2018 (and making our lives, especially Cody's, a lot more busy). Just in the past couple of days, we've seen Photos' Color Pop effect and Assistant's new visual responses, and now, there's something new in Google Maps too: Shortlists.
You might recall Google mentioning at I/O a group planning feature for Maps where users can create a list of places, share them with a group, and the invitees can vote or add more suggestions. That's what a shortlist is, and it's starting to show up in the form of a floating bubble when you search for places in Maps.
Adding places to a shortlist is easy. You either tap and hold on them when you're in search results, or you get the option when you view a place and tap to share it.
Your shortlist can be displayed in two views: a regular list or a map view. Both let you add places, share the list, and rename it.
You can also discard the shortlist by dragging the bubble down to the bottom of the screen. But if you like it and want to send it to your friends to gauge their opinions, you can share it to them. This generates a link that anyone can join from their Maps app or the web (even if the option to create a shortlist isn't live for them yet).
When clicking on the link that Himanshu shared with me, I got a dialog box and approved joining the list. After that, I could see both the list and map view, rename the list, share it with others, leave it, and upvote/downvote the different places. There's also a button to add more places, but since the full shortlist feature isn't live for me yet, this didn't seem to work.
On Himanshu's device, my actions showed up as notifications. He can also create multiple shortlists and keep an eye on them from the Your places section in Maps, where there's a new Shared tab for these shortlists.
This being a server-side test, there's no way to trigger it unless you're one of the lucky ones for whom Google has started rolling out the feature. So be patient and it'll probably show up for you... one day. In the meantime, if you receive an invitation to a shortlist, you can still participate.
Google has now announced that Shortlists are officially rolling out starting this week. The corresponding support page has also gone up. We'll keep an eye out and let you know if an app update is necessary of if it's a server-side rollout.
Shortlists can have custom header images now. After you've made your shortlist and shared it, you'll see an option to select an image for it. There are over forty options including a few generics graphics, some related to food, others for sports, and various other activities. Thanks, Chinmay Kunkikar!
- Himanshu Singh