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Google Maps now lets you pick a light or dark scheme when navigating

Unfortunately, Google Maps' dark color scheme still does not apply to the entire app.

Published onOctober 30, 2018

Google Maps icon on a Pixel 2 XL.
  • The latest update to Google Maps lets you toggle between a light and dark scheme when navigating.
  • Unfortunately, there is no app-wide dark theme yet.
  • The update also re-arranges the navigation settings screen and adds a few new toggles.

With Google integrating dark themes into more and more of its apps, it makes sense for the company to do the same with Google Maps. The latest update to Google’s navigation app now lets you pick a dark scheme, but there is a big caveat.

Spotted by Android Police, version 10.2.1 of Google Maps includes a revamped Navigation settings screen that freshens things up a bit with new visuals. Functionality and toggles remain mostly the same, though options are now organized into different sub-sections. Options like Guidance voice and Distance units even turned into large buttons.

If you scroll down a bit, however, you will spot a new toggle: Color scheme. Up until now, Google Maps kept close tabs on the time of day and automatically enabled either a light or dark scheme when navigating. The new toggle lets you keep that automatic choice, but you can now choose whether to permanently use a dark scheme when navigating.

Navigation Wars: Google Maps vs Waze vs Apple Maps

Unfortunately, the update does not introduce a proper dark theme for Google Maps. We can hope that Google eventually includes an all-app dark theme for Google Maps in a future update, seeing how the company’s all-white aesthetic for most of its apps can burn some retinas.

Elsewhere, the Navigation settings screen now shows route options for avoiding highways, tolls, and ferries. Those options previously only showed up when looking up directions prior to navigation. Finally, there are new toggles for audio cues and showing speed limits. Audio cues play sounds once you arrive at a destination, while the toggle to show speed limits might be location-based.

You can grab version 10.2.1 of Google Maps at the link below. If the update does not show up for you yet, just wait a bit. Google likes to take a staged approach when it comes to updates.

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