Google Maps for iOS Gaining Dark Mode and Messages Integration for Sharing Real-Time Location

Google today announced new updates that are coming to the Google Maps app designed for the iPhone. The most notable new feature is dark mode, which Google Maps app users have long been wanting. Dark mode is an alternative to light mode and allows for a darker user interface to match other dark mode apps on iOS devices.

google maps dark mode
According to Google, dark mode is going to be rolling out "in the coming weeks," and once available to you, it can be enabled in the Settings section of Google Maps. Google says that dark mode in Google Maps will save battery and "give eyes a break."

Apple first introduced the Dark Mode feature with iOS 13, but it has taken Google some time to bring support to its apps. Google earlier this year began rolling out a true dark mode feature to Android users, and the iOS version of dark mode for Google Maps looks similar to the Android version.

Along with dark mode, Google today announced the launch of new Messages integration. With this feature, Google Maps users can share their real-time location with friends in an iMessage using the Google Maps button in the Messages app. Location is shared for one hour by default, but there is an option to extend access by up to three days or stop access at any time.

google maps messages integration
Google's blog post also highlights the recently introduced widgets feature, which allows ‌iPhone‌ users to add a Google Maps widget to the Home Screen or the Today View. Widgets can be used to check traffic conditions or find nearby places.

google maps ios widgets
The Google Maps app can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Top Rated Comments

aforty Avatar
14 months ago
Why is Google always the last to adopt anything on the iOS platform? Out of spite or do they really just have two or three people working on this who don't have the time to implement these things?
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
alexandr Avatar
14 months ago
real-time locations!! now that's something a lot of us have been waiting for.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SFjohn Avatar
14 months ago
I haven’t used Google Maps in years! Apple Maps got way better, occasionally I’d run into a problem, try it on Google Maps and it was EXACTLY the same. Finally let go of Google altogether, haven’t looked back.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
xxray Avatar
14 months ago
About time. The light interface is horrible at night.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
abhibeckert Avatar
14 months ago

I’d like to install Google Maps again, but even after iOS 14.5 and the privacy oriented features, like asking not to track me, I still wonder if Google Maps, even without logging in, is a safe option. In the past, Google syncronized all my activity from Safari, GMaps and YouTube, they did know it was me all the time. And I just want to use GMaps anonymously, without Google tracking me across all their apps and websites.
Maps and YouTube are from the same developer which means they're allowed to setup shared storage on your device and in iCloud, and google surely uses that to store a unique identifier. So there's nothing you can do to stop them being linked.

For safari, they do that by setting a cookie and comparing it with your IP address. Once you use a google service in safari from a few different IP addresses, and also use maps or youtube in those locations, they correlate the data and uniquely identify you from then on. Safari will block this technique on iOS 15 if iCloud Private Relay is enabled.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Populus Avatar
14 months ago
I’d like to install Google Maps again, but even after iOS 14.5 and the privacy oriented features, like asking not to track me, I still wonder if Google Maps, even without logging in, is a safe option. In the past, Google syncronized all my activity from Safari, GMaps and YouTube, they did know it was me all the time. And I just want to use GMaps anonymously, without Google tracking me across all their apps and websites.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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