Google might want you to choose Android over iPhone, but regardless of your preference, the company likes to offer a uniform app experience across platforms. One example is Google Maps, which will deliver almost the same experience on Android and iPhone or iPad. Android usually gets the new Google Maps features first, with iOS coming shortly after.
But there is one Google Maps feature that iPhone users have had for years, and Android users still don’t. That’s built-in real-time weather information for the location you might be searching for. It’s a tiny feature that won’t impact the overall Google Maps experience, but it’s incredibly useful and will save you a trip to your dedicated weather app.
I keep checking the weather regularly to plan my frequent running sessions to take advantage of the best possible weather. I seek warmth during the colder months of the year and cooler air during summer. Similarly, I check the weather when I travel. That way, I know what to wear and what’s the best time to leave or get somewhere.
That’s to say that I don’t necessarily need a weather indicator in Google Maps or any other navigation app I might use. But it’s certainly a useful feature. It prevents me from switching back and forth between weather and navigation apps to get a sense of the weather at a point of interest.
The weather indicator in Google Maps gives you the temperature at a location paired with an icon to give you a general idea of the weather. Zoom in or out, or scroll the map, and the information changes accordingly. There is no need to search for a location’s weather data inside a weather app.
That’s the feature Android users have been missing from Google Maps, even though Google prioritizes Maps for Android development over the iPhone.
However, weather information is coming to Google Maps, and some users have already seen the weather widgets in action. The screenshots above were posted on a Google News Telegram channel (via Android Police).
The weather information will appear as a search tile. You’ll see the current temperature and a weather icon for the location in view. You can tap that weather tile to obtain even better weather information. The widget will also show air quality data where available.
Interestingly, you can’t tap on the weather tile in the iPhone app to get more detailed information. So, it looks like Google will deliver a slightly updated experience on Android.
It’s unclear when the Google Maps weather feature will roll out to all Android users. But Google seems to be testing it out in the wild. Also, it’s unclear whether Google will update the iPhone version of Google Maps with this improved layer of weather data.