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Google Maps will now let you move around more discreetly

You can now delete your searches, directions, visits, and shares related to specific places.
By
December 12, 2023
Google Maps stock photo 4
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • Google Maps is getting three new privacy-focused features.
  • Users will soon be able to delete their activity related to specific places in Maps.
  • Google will also start storing Timelines locally on their devices.

Google Maps is getting a new privacy-focused update with three important features. Both Android and iOS users will be able to take advantage of the changes to keep their movements more private and discreet.

In a blog post published earlier in the day, Google announced that all Maps users will soon be able to delete their activity related to specific places straight from the app. So if you visit a place often and don’t want someone snooping through your phone to know where you’ve been, you can simply delete your searches, directions, visits, and shares with just a few taps. The feature will start rolling out to the Google Maps Android and iOS app in the coming weeks.

Google Maps Delete Map Activity
Google

Next up, Google is now making it possible to store your Timeline on your device instead of on the cloud by default. The Timeline feature in Maps is designed to show you a summary of where you’ve been. It works when location history is enabled in Google Maps. Google says it will store the Timeline locally on your device to give you more control over your data. You will also be able to delete all or part of your information at any time and turn off the setting entirely.

If you’re switching devices and don’t want to lose your data, you can always back it up in the cloud. Google says it’ll encrypt your information so no one except you can read it.

Google has also set the auto-delete setting in Google Maps to three months by default. The setting is enabled when you first switch on location history. It’ll now automatically delete your location and movement data every three months. Previously, auto-delete was set to 18 months by default. You can always change the default settings if you want to keep your Timeline around longer or turn off auto-delete if you wish.

The changes to the Timeline feature will roll out next year for both Android and iOS. Google says you will receive a notification when the update arrives for your account.

Lastly, Google is making it easier to access location controls in Maps. Now, you can tap on the blue dot that shows your current location to access advanced settings such as location history or Timeline controls. The new blue dot controls will begin rolling out on Google Maps for Android and iOS in the coming weeks.