Google Releases Mysterious Google Maps Updates on Android and Android Auto

New Google Maps versions are live on Android 6 photos
Photo: autoevolution
The refreshed Google Maps UIThe refreshed Google Maps UIThe refreshed Google Maps UIThe refreshed Google Maps UIThe refreshed Google Maps UI
Google has just released new versions of Google Maps for Android and Android Auto users, but as per the company’s typical approach, no changelog has been included with these updates.
More specifically, while users can already download the new stable and beta builds of Google Maps on their devices, it’s up to each and every one of them to figure out what’s new. But we’re here to help.

First and foremost, let’s see what the new versions actually are.

Those who are part of the beta program can download the very first build of Google Maps 10.52, as the previous testing version available for these users was 10.51.

On the other hand, consumers who expect a more reliable and polished experience with the app and stick with the stable channel can download Google Maps 10.51.2, a minor update from Google Maps 10.51.1 released in the second half of September.

So what’s new in these updates?

While a changelog isn’t available, there are two changes that Google could enable in the stable version of Google Maps, and I can confirm that one is now live on my Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra after the latest update.

The dark mode that now covers the entire UI of Google Maps appears to expand to more devices after installing Google Maps 10.51.2 – Google has actually enabled this for the first wave of smartphones only a few days ago, so presumably, the new update allows the company to continue the rollout to more Android smartphones.

While it’s believed that the whole thing is powered by a server-side switch, which means that it could still take longer for the dark mode to be enabled on some devices, installing Google Maps 10.51.2 is what brought this new visual facelift to my phone.

And then, it’s the new Live View AR capabilities that users can turn to in order to get more information in real-time on specific landmarks. This feature was announced this week and it is expected to be enabled in an upcoming Google Maps update for select locations across the world, including New York, Paris, and other large cities. So if anything, the new versions could include additional code to pave the way for these improvements in the app.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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