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The Google Maps pin feature I’ve always wanted is finally on the way

Published Apr 3rd, 2023 10:02AM EDT
Google Maps reviews
Image: Google

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Dropping a pin to highlight a location is a key feature of the Google Maps experience. Yet it’s easy to lose track of that pin. Especially when you’re using the Android or iPhone version of the app. The smartphone’s limited screen real estate means the pin will quickly disappear once you start zooming in or panning around.

Thankfully, Google is working on an incredibly handy Google Maps feature we have always needed. The app will always show you where the pin is, indicating the direction you must scroll to find it.

It might seem like an unimportant Google Maps upgrade, but it’s a feature that we could have had all along. As Android Police points out, however, this is actually a feature we’ve already had in other apps where navigation is critical to get the job done: video games. Anytime you see a map in a game, it’ll also show you an indicator of various waypoints and/or your position as you scroll through that map.

Google Maps has a re-center button to let you return to your current location on the map. But the pin you just dropped isn’t necessarily near that position. The only way to find a lost pin is to zoom out until you see it. That’s assuming you didn’t accidentally tap a different location and moved the pin.

New Google Maps feature lets you track the pin location.
The New Google Maps feature lets you track the pin location. Image source: Android Police

Going forward, Google Maps will offer a visual indicator of the pin, just like video games do, once the pin disappears from the main screen. That way, you can explore the nearby areas around a pin without losing your orientation. The pin indicator will appear on the edge of the screen, pointing in the direction you need to scroll to get back to it.

Even better, Android Police notes that tapping the pin will re-center Google Maps on the pin.

Furthermore, the same behavior will apply to people you select in the app when using the Google Maps Location Sharing feature.

These pin features will greatly simplify the Google Maps mobile experience. And they look like features we should have had from the start.

Unfortunately, you might not yet see them on your Android device or iPhone. Google is rolling out the pin tricks in stages, just like other features. Apparently, the new Google Maps pin features will be available to users regardless of their app version. We’re looking at an account-based change, per Android Police.

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.