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The Google Maps feature we’ve been waiting for is finally available to all Android users

Published Nov 1st, 2019 4:19PM EDT
Google Maps Features
Image: Valentin Wolf/imageBROKER/Shutterstock

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Announced initially at Google I/O back in May, Google Maps incognito mode finally hit testing in early October when Google announced several privacy-enhancing features. Incognito mode on Google Maps is a welcome privacy addition to the popular app, allowing users to untie some of their Google Maps activity from their Google accounts. And now, the feature is finally available to everyone using the navigation app on an Android device.

Google updated a support document to announce that Maps Incognito is now available on Android. You can enable incognito mode in the Maps app any time you want with a simple swipe over your account avatar in the top right corner of the app, as seen in the animation below.

Image source: Google

You don’t have to sign out of your Google account to enjoy an enhanced degree of privacy. Just switch it on and off whenever you want your Maps data not to be associated with your Google account. While incognito Maps is on, Google won’t save search history or send notifications, it won’t update your Location History or shared location data, and it won’t use personal data to personalize Maps, as the company explained in its support document.

In a separate entry, Google lists all the Maps features that won’t be available while the incognito mode is switched on:

  • Commute
  • For You
  • Location History
    Tip: Location History will be paused for your entire device, not just Maps.
  • Location Sharing
  • Notifications and messages
  • Search history
  • Search completion suggestions
  • Google Maps Contributions
  • Google Assistant microphone in Navigation
  • Offline Maps
  • Your Places
  • Media integration

Additionally, the microphone for Google Assistant will not be available in incognito mode, but you’ll still be able to summon the Assistant with the usual “Ok Google” command. Mind you, however, that data you share with Google Assistant while in incognito mode isn’t also treated as incognito by Assistant.

The feature will likely roll out to iPhone and iPad users later down the road, as has been the case with most new Google Maps features.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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