Google Maps lists have become an essential feature for me. I have lists for places all over the world that I want to check out one day, dedicated lists to each country I've traveled to or am planning to visit soon, as well as some miscellaneous lists for places around me for which I need to have a saved location. The Maps team has been steadily improving these lists, but some neat changes have trickled in recently — likely via server-side as we just spotted them but we can now see them in older versions of the app too.

View and edit note from the place's listing

Possibly my most-wanted feature is the ability to add, view, and edit a note directly from any place's listing, and now it's finally available. Previously, you could only add your personal notes about a place when editing the list it was saved in, and these comments were only visible while scrolling through that list. That means barely anyone knew the feature existed let alone used it.

Maps is now making it a lot more intuitive and easy to access. Whenever you tap to bookmark a place, you can select which list to add it to, and below that you'll see the option to add a note. Type in whatever comment you want and save. I use these a lot when I'm doing travel research and want to remember an important detail about a place, like why I should visit, what's the best time, what dish a restaurant is most famous for, which entrance to use in a big venue, etc...

These notes will now show up in the main place's listing, under the "Saved in x" section. You can easily read the comment you wrote, and expand it to get the option to edit that note or jump directly to that list. All in all, a big improvement compared to these notes being only accessible from the list itself.

Manually reorder the list

My husband always complained about one thing when we created lists for our travels: each time a list is opened, you see the items in a different order, and it's like there's no logic behind it. That's changed now as you can manually re-order all items in a list, creating some consistency. That's great if you want your list to reflect your travel itinerary, or if you're sorting items by distance or priority.

Choose a photo for each place

The next change affecting your lists is the ability to pick a photo for a place — this seems to have been added a while back, but is important to note because you may have missed it.

Suppose you're bookmarking an attraction or village or restaurant, but you only want to go there for a specific reason, which isn't clearly denoted by the main image that Maps has chosen for this place. You can scroll through all uploaded photos, pick the image you think fits best, and choose it as the default for that listing. That's how you easily see why you wanted to go to each place while scrolling through the list.

I'm quite happy about these changes to lists, but I still have an, erm, list of features I wish to see. The ability to change the color of the pin for custom lists is highly needed — the blue pin is the same color as attractions in Maps, making it almost impossible to see which place you've bookmarked and which you haven't. And for heaven's sake, please let multiple users collaborate on a list. I want my husband to be able to edit and add to a list, not just view it when I share it with him.

Until these are implemented, you can find the features we discussed above in the most recent Google Maps versions, which are available on the Play Store or downloadable via APK Mirror.

Maps - Navigate & Explore
Maps - Navigate & Explore
Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free
  • Thanks:
  • Paul Kulikowski