Google announced a bunch of new features and changes for Google Maps that will start rolling out in the coming weeks. The search giant is making a big change to how the Timeline feature works on Google Maps.
Google said it will start saving your Timeline, and its related data, directly on your device. The feature is not ready yet and it will notify users when the update starts rolling out through the next year on Android and iOS.
The Timeline feature in Maps helps you remember places you’ve been and is powered by a setting called Location History. If you’re among the subset of users who have chosen to turn Location History on (it’s off by default), soon your Timeline will be saved right on your device — giving you even more control over your data. Just like before, you can delete all or part of your information at any time or disable the setting entirely.
For reference, Timeline is a personal map that keeps a record of the places you visit and routes you take. Location History needs to be enabled for the feature to work, speaking of which, Google said that the auto-delete functionality for location history will default to three months.
So, if you want to keep your Timeline for a longer period, you can choose to extend your auto-delete window or disable the feature altogether, Google said. While Google Maps will save the Timeline on your device, it will let you periodically back up an encrypted copy of it to your Google account. This will let you continue your Timeline on a new device or recover data if your phone gets lost.
The blue dot in Google Maps, which tells your GPS location, will become more useful in the coming weeks. It lets you save a parking spot, share your location, and see nearby places, among various things. But a future update will bring more information, for instance, whether your Location History is enabled and whether you have given location access to your device.
Apart from that, you will be able to view your recent activity and delete all your searches, directions, visits, and shares for a particular place directly from Google Maps. This feature to delete place-related activities will start rolling out to Android and iOS devices in the coming weeks.
The latest announcement comes not long after Google Maps added a stream of features such as collaborative lists, better transit navigation, and emoji reactions. The company is also working on a host of AI features and recently rolled out Immersive View for Routes in select cities across the globe.