Google Maps has so many benefits that it’s impossible to talk about all of them. It provides detailed web mapping information that’s important in our day to day lives. Talk of directions, traffic, street view, street maps, 360 degrees views, indoor maps, and many other things.
In recent years, Google has been updating its apps to be more user friendly and easier to use. Specifically, Dark mode is an update that many Google users have been raving about for a long time. Google finally updated many of its other apps to use dark mode. These apps include Google Translate, Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, and now the most recent Google Maps.
Dark Mode Development
Google Map users who use the dark theme on their phones know it previously only applied to navigation on the app. However, the new version will also turn the menu, notifications, and other application features into a grey and black shade even though the location icon will still be in red.
There is a dedicated option in the navigation settings where you can choose either the dark or light theme. The application will be super helpful in reducing eye strain and saving the user’s smartphone battery life.
How to Change from Normal Light UI to Dark Mode (On any device)
To change your Google Maps display to dark mode, follow the steps below:
- Open your Google Maps app on your device. Make sure that it’s an update of the latest version.
- Tap on the Menu icon: a hamburger button at the top-left of your screen.
- A couple of commands will pop up. Tap on Settings or Navigation Settings.
- Navigate to Map Display.
- On the Map Display section, select NIGHT under the color scheme.
For Android Users
A lot of apps on android devices have a dark theme. Unlike other apps, google maps have its dark mode only on the navigation interface. To change your theme to dark mode, follow these steps.
- Tap on the Maps app on your phone.
- Make sure that your Google Maps app is the latest version.
- Navigate the menu option at the top left of your screen.
- Under the menu, tap on Settings and select Navigation settings.
- The Map display option will appear.
- Select Night and start driving to enjoy the dark theme.
Your app has to be in the latest version to navigate in the dark mode. If it’s not, this is how you update it:
To check your app’s version
- Launch your Google Maps.
- Go to your profile picture or Settings.
- On the About, terms & privacy, you’ll find your app version.
To update it to the latest version
- Open Google Play Store.
- At the top left corner, tap on the three stacked lines.
- Select “My apps & games.”
- An option of “Update” appears under the Google Maps section. Tap on it.
For iOS users
iOS users can choose the shade they want, either dark or light. It can be automatically activated or manually activated, depending on the lighting condition. If you’re using standard views and controls, the appearance is automatically updated to match the interface style. In the navigations setting, the application has a new feature that helps set up its theme.
For you to change the Google Maps’ theme to dark mode for iPhone users is slightly different.
- Open the Google Maps app.
- A hamburger menu appears at the top left of the screen; tap on it.
- At the top right, now tap on the settings icon.
- On the menu that appears, choose Navigate.
- Select Night under the Color Scheme sub-menu.
Updating Google Maps for iOS
- Navigate the App Store on your iPhone.
- Tap on the Updates menu located on the bottom right of your screen.
- If there is a new version, a Get Update option will appear next to the Maps icon, tap on it.
- Enter your password then select Okay to have your phone download and install the update on its own.
Benefits of Using Dark Mode
It reduces eye strain
We all know how bright light can harm your eyes. People spend so much time on their screens that if the light isn’t regulated, it can be hazardous to your health. It can cause headaches, resulting in insomnia or dry, itchy eyes from low melatonin levels.
It saves on battery.
For OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) or AMOLED (Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode) displays, dark mode saves energy significantly. Android phones using the dark theme have saved and prolonged their battery lives since they use the OLED screens. The reason dark mode saves battery is that all the screen turns off all the pixels. In light mode, the battery gets drained since all light and dark pixels have to be displayed.
When the screen is white, it turns on all pixels hence demanding more power. In dark mode, the screen lights the pixels individually. In other cases, like LCDs, dark mode isn’t considered as energy saving; it only helps with reducing eye strain.
Dark themes usually have this unique edge to them. Presentations on dark backgrounds are clearer to see. However, don’t use a dark theme in a brightly lit room or directly under the sun because you may not be able to view any text.
Dark mode is mainly there to save energy, and it’s mostly for clarity in navigation apps. Take, for instance, a driver using Google Maps at Night. With the standard white light in the background, the driver might strain to check the roads after looking at the phone. The background can’t be dark since the driver won’t be able to read the regular map correctly, which is why the dark mode is activated only on navigation.
Practically all Google Maps users are pretty thrilled with the latest dark mode update. It’s going to be way more comfortable for everyone to navigate while driving at night. You can set your dark theme to change when your phone detects changes in light intensity automatically, or you can set it to always remain in the dark mode. Either way, you’ll still be able to navigate your Google Maps app without any trouble.