Google Rolls out the Hotly Debated Incognito Mode on iOS


Back in October Google released the much discussed Incognito Mode in Google Maps on Android, and now the feature is being rolled out to iOS users too.

Incognito Mode on iOS works the same way it does on Android. Incognito Mode has to be turned on manually, when you want to hide your location. Once you turn it on, the places you search for or navigate to won’t be saved to your Google Account, and while in Incognito Mode, you won’t see personalized features within Maps, like restaurant recommendations based on dining spots you’ve been to previously. Since your phone will not update your Location History, the places you go won’t be saved to your Timeline either. 

However, turning on Incognito Mode doesn’t affect how your activity is used or saved by internet providers, other apps, voice search, and other Google services, which is why the feature has been criticized by many. In other words, the features mostly hides you from you. As we wrote when the feature was rolled out to Android, we believe that Incognito mode is useful for a lot of people. Not everyone has the privilege of being completely open about sexuality or abuse, and some just prefer to keep it private. With Incognito Mode people can search for and visit fertility clinics, gays bars, alcoholism support groups, or the like and not have to worry about this showing up in their timeline or search history, or affecting their personal recommendations.

Bulk delete in Timeline

Another new feature on Android and iOS is bulk delete in Timeline. Your Google Maps Timeline uses your Location History to help you remember places and routes you’ve visited and share them with friends (Android only). This is especially useful if you’ve been travelling and struggle to remember the name and location of that amazing thai restaurant you went too, or if your mum (like mine) has a habit of cross-questioning you after every out of town or abroad trip you take.

With bulk delete, you can quickly find and delete multiple places from your Timeline and Location History all at once. This is really handy if you want to delete your 1 million visits to the local grocery (I’m terrible at meal planning). You’ll still have the ability to delete all or part of your Timeline by date range from your Location History settings. 

Next week we’re digging into the biggest Google Maps updates of the year. Stay tuned as our Creative Lead, Scott, and Google Maps Platform US Sales Manager, Jesper, discuss various use cases in the Map Shack studio. Until then, visit our Google Maps blog for more Google Maps news and updates.

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