How to activate the new dark mode on Google Maps

For quite some time now, there have been reports that Google wants to give its maps app an extremely helpful feature called dark mode. Now the first users are able to use the feature.

No matter if Android or iOS, dark mode is an eye-saving helper especially in the darkness, which is very welcome for example when navigating at night. The feature was recently discovered in the code of a version of Google Maps, but it has not yet been possible to activate the new display.

But this seems to be changing now. As 9to5Google reports, first users have found the possibility to turn on dark mode in the settings of the Android version of Google Maps. There are three settings to choose from under the option called «Appearance». You can either always activate the light or dark mode. If desired, the app can also follow the mode of the device. This is useful, for example, when the dark mode is automatically activated at a certain time of day.

Google Maps Android Dark Mode Bild reddit
This is how dark mode and the corresponding settings in Google Maps for Android look like. / © u/BrokenFuckenArm, reddit

Google Maps: activating Dark Mode

Dark Mode reduces the brightness of the whole app. No matter if on the map or menus, all features are much more comfortable to use when using the app in the dark.

On Reddit, there are some users who report that their devices with Android 10 and Android 11 have received the feature in the past hours. Apparently, dark mode is still not widespread. The server-side change only affects a few users so far. When tested with version 10.51.1 of Google Maps, it displayed the feature on some devices, while it is still missing on other smartphones running the same version.

So we have to wait and see if Google is just testing with a small number of users or if they are just slowly rolling out the feature. It is also expected that dark mode will reach iOS users in the future.

In our tests, the dark mode was not available yet either. Google had already added another helpful feature to its map app in the past days. The iOS and Android versions now include a COVID 19 layer which gives hints on the spread of the virus in all supported regions.

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