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Google is now rolling out Incognito Mode to Google Maps on iOS, letting users take back a bit of privacy when using the navigation system.
Incognito Mode has been available on Google Maps for Android since October. The new feature for the iOS version of the app works pretty much the same way. In short: none of the locations you search for or navigate to will be saved to your Google account.
The app won’t update your Location History or your shared location. Similarly, it won’t use any of your activity data to personalize the Google Maps app. Because of that, features like For You, Your Places or Commute aren’t available in the new privacy mode.
How to Go Incognito in Google Maps on iPhone
- To enable Incognito Mode, just tap your profile picture in the upper-right corner of the Google Maps app.
- Select Turn On Incognito Mode.
It’s worth noting that Google says the Maps Incognito Mode won’t stop your location or activity from being logged by “internet providers, other apps, voice search, and other Google services.”
As far as what you’re protecting yourself from, Google says it uses some location data from Location History to serve you ads based on the places you visit.
Still, even though Incognito Mode won’t save data to your Google account, there’s still a chance that anonymized bits of user data are sent to Google’s servers to improve the app and navigation experience.
Alongside the iOS app update, Google is also rolling out the ability to delete timeline data in bulk on Android handsets. It isn’t clear if Google will bring similar functionality to iOS devices, but the Android version will launch next month.
The move is likely part of a continued effort by Google to change its privacy reputation. While Apple is still arguably the most pro-privacy tech company out there, its competitors like Google and Facebook have started to follow in its footsteps.
While Incognito Mode will be a boon for Google Maps users, privacy-conscious individuals may want to look elsewhere for a navigation app.
Apple Maps, for example, never uses data to serve you ads. (Only Apple News and the App Store serve ads, and you can disable location access for them.) It’s even the default navigation app for pro-privacy search engine DuckDuckGo.