Google Maps dark theme starts rolling out for some on Android

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At the start of last month, we spotted Google working on a Maps dark mode for Android. The Google Maps dark theme is now beginning to roll out for some users and it encompasses the entire app.

Once available, the Settings page will house a new “Appearance” menu with three standard options: Light theme, Dark theme, Default to device theme. Google notes that the main look can be set independent of the navigation mode.

Enabling the Google Maps dark theme starts with the search field and bottom bar taking a gray hue that is standard across first-party apps. There’s a white microphone icon up top, while a more pastel shade of blue is used to denote which tab you’re currently viewing.

Various buttons overlaid on top of the map, like the top search/filters carousel and various FABs, are a slightly darker shade of gray.

The background/base of the map has the darkest shade, while streets use a lighter gray. Text is even brighter and quite legible, along with the various pins and icons. Overall, this is a good dark theme for Google Maps.

The work needed to make sure viewing was not negatively impacted presumably took some time, and is not just a color inversion.

There are currently a handful of reports of users on Android 10 and Android 11 receiving this new look over the past day. Both users are running version 10.51.1 of Google Maps, but this is a server-side update that’s not yet widely rolled out on several devices we checked this morning. Hopefully, this will be a wide launch and not just an A/B test for Google. Once fully available, it should also be available on iOS.

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