Shopping list

Google Shopping List is redesigned, no longer worth using

Google itself has always been confused about where it wants you to list what you need in your fridge, pantry, and freezer. Back then, a “grocery” list could be created in Google Keep, and asking the Assistant to add something to your shopping list would place it there. Then one day the company uprooted your listing and dropped it into Google Shopping as “Google shopping list”. I found this out the hard way by visiting my local grocery store and realizing that when my cellular connection dropped due to the roof of the building, I found myself standing in the middle of the produce aisle not knowing what else i was supposed to buy because the web listing just disappeared. Back in Keep, this list can be accessed even offline, making it the perfect place to store things.

Well, despite how much I hated the shopping list on the web, I’ve come to use it for a number of things, from groceries and household items, thanks to my increased confidence in the new golden child and the central goal of Google – Shopping, which it literally integrates into almost every one of its services with the aim of monetizing beyond advertising revenue. The design was pretty ugly, but at least it had some smart grouping features like food groups, smart bullets displaying food icons, and even the ability to quickly find something on Google Shopping with a click.

This week, the tech giant redesigned the Shopping web app on desktop and mobile, and yes, I’ll admit it looks pretty cool, but in the process it’s lost a lot of what makes it great. was worth using. Now Shopping is much less useful than before, and that’s saying something because it was already significantly less appealing than Keep for the aforementioned reasons.

Rather… rather useless, that is to say

No more smart groupings and smart chips. You can’t swipe anything anymore, rendering the checkbox useless, and in its place is an ubiquitous checkbox cluttering the screen. Sure, it’s more functional, but why was that necessary? Does Google have any big plans for the shopping list that we don’t know about? I am not sure. Sometimes, if the company doesn’t choose to “spring clean” a product by temporizing it, said product or service gets a facelift just because, and that often means nothing.

Either way, the whole thing is no more special than a standard checklist you’ll find in Keeps, so why the hell aren’t we using Keep again? You can check things off – that’s it. You can sort it alphabetically, but again, no food grouping capability. It might look nice now, but does anyone really care if most of the features have been removed?

The familiar FAB, or floating action button found on Gmail and other services, now graces the top left corner of the web app, making it easy to add a new list, but I don’t know of anyone who would often add a list enough to need a button like this. Luckily, a FAB exists in the bottom right that allows you to add individual items to a list, but my eyes immediately fell to the redundant plain text “Add Item” above my top list item.

Added foods no longer have cute icons indicating what they are, and you can no longer tap an item to search for it on Google Shopping. Autocomplete disappeared when adding items to a list, as did details or notes for each item. What was Google thinking? I don’t even know what to say about this, but I’ll watch if the web app scales at all now that it’s prematurely launched in this new state. Let me know in the comments what you think, and whether or not you use “Google shopping list” on the web or on the go.