The Most Controversial Google Maps Update in History: Users Unite Against the New Colors

The new Google Maps colors 17 photos
Photo: Bogdan Popa/autoevolution/Google
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Google Maps is the world's number one mobile navigation app, so every change could eventually impact millions of users.
The new color palette, whose rollout was completed earlier this month, wreaks havoc in the Google Maps user base, with a continuously growing number of users calling for the search giant to undo the interface update.

The new colors are supposed to make Google Maps more readable. The roads now use different shades of grey, so it's easier to see them on the map. Other map information, such as lakes and forests, received new colors to make distinguishing them on the map easier.

However, many believe the update pushes Google Maps too close to Apple Maps, an application that's been using similar colors for a long time. Additionally, users find the updated color palette "confusing," "difficult to look at," "depressive," and "cold."

A former Google Maps designer who worked on the application in its early days also criticized the direction the search giant has embraced, calling for the search giant to simplify the experience and make it easier to use.

A discussion thread on Google's forums shows precisely how users received the new Google Maps interface update. The post, which originally described the color palette as a bug, has become the place where users united against Google's "hostile change." They want the Mountain View-based company to revert the update or, at least, to let them choose between the old and the new interfaces.

While we all know that will not happen, returning to the old Google Maps colors is everybody's proposed solution to restore "an application that worked perfectly." The post has nearly 900 upvotes and over 300 comments, all coming from people who used harsh words to describe the new Google Maps interface.

Users don't like the change
Photo: autoevolution
Meanwhile, more and more users search online for ways to disable the new colors and return to the previous look. I hate to be the one bringing the bad news, but this isn't possible, as Google enabled the new interface with a server-side update. It means you can't go back to an earlier build or remove the latest Google Maps update because you'll still get the new interface.

The only one that can fix the mess is Google itself, though the search giant has so far remained tight-lipped on its plans regarding the Google Maps interface. The company only announced the new colors in a post not long ago but barely mentioned the change.

The best thing you can do is to make yourselves heard so you can join the Google discussion thread and leave your feedback. Theoretically, the more users ask for a change, the bigger the chances for Google to take notice and update Google Maps accordingly.
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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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