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Google Maps gives you more control than the blue dot

Google Maps gives you more control than the blue dot

Google Maps received some fun updates recently, and now it's offering some more privacy-forward changes as it adds more ways to control your location data. It starts, as many journeys do, with that little blue dot in Google Maps: aka, you... or, at least your current location.

Right now, tapping the blue dot in Google Maps provides shortcuts to saving your parking or sharing your location. This update – which I'm already seeing on my Pixel 8 Pro review unit – adds options for device location and location history. You can see at a glance whether they're on or off, and you can toggle them with just a few taps.

By default, your location history is turned off when you use Google Maps. If you choose to turn it on, your activity is saved in the cloud and can be viewed in the app's Timeline feature. Google is making a big change here – with the upcoming update, your data will be stored locally instead of in the cloud by default. However, you will still be able to manually back up your information to the cloud if you prefer. Google is reducing the default time frame before automatically deleting your location history to three months instead of the previous 18 months. These changes will take place from next year.

Another small but important update coming soon – the ability to delete all your data related to a specific location in Maps. Currently, you can remove a location from your Timeline very easily: simply tap the "Remove" option in the Places overview. But if you used Maps to look up or get directions to that location, that data will still be present in your Google Web & App Activity if it's enabled for your account. Now, Google is adding an easy way to delete all that related information in one fell swoop.

Google's blog post says it's useful if you're planning a "surprise birthday party," which I think you will. But to me, it seems especially useful for victims of domestic abuse who want to quickly erase all of their activity related to a particular location. The way it works now, it may seem like you've removed all evidence of your visit to a location by deleting it from your Timeline, but that may not be the case. Google says the feature will be coming "in the coming weeks." Until then, you can always check your web activity settings and history through Google's My Activity Hub.


  1. it is just another updated way for them to steal our personal information that they WILL SELL