When was the last time you didn’t use Google Maps? The app has become an essential tool for navigating places especially if they’re unknown. the app being related to Google means it tracks your location and uses it for ad targetting. The tech giant announced at their I/0 2019 event that they would provide an incognito mode for Google Maps in their commitment to privacy.
We waited. Five months went by.
The feature is now available, at least for Android users.
How it will work
First things first, Google will still require you to provide your actual geographical location. When incognito mode is enabled, Google won’t save your searches and won’t use that data to personalize your experience and you won’t receive any notifications.
Just like it says for the Chrome app when you go incognito, this mode doesn’t make you invisible only untrackable.
Also, if you happen to use Google Maps via third-party map apps or Google Search, some data and activity may also be recorded.
In incognito mode, the Google Assistant microphone isn’t available in navigation, but “Ok Google” will continue to work as expected. Google Assistant is a system feature that isn’t a part of Incognito mode for Maps, so any information you share with it will be saved as usual.
Google outlines other features that will be disabled including:
- For You
- Location History: Location History will be paused for your entire device, not just Maps.
- Location Sharing
- Notifications and messages
- Search history
- Search completion suggestions
- Google Maps Contributions
- Google Assistant microphone in Navigation
- Offline Maps
- Your Places
- Media integration
How to enable incognito mode
To enable or disable incognito mode, just tap your profile pic in the Google Maps apps and tap on the “Turn on Incognito mode” option.
The update is server-side so be patient before it’s available to you.