Following a two-year absence, Google has brought the in-map compass back to Google Maps on Android much appreciated, it says, to proceeded with user pressure for an return of the feature.
“You wanted it and we heard you,” a help post on Google Maps help starts. “We’re excited to announce the return of the compass on Maps for Android. “The compass was removed from Maps for Android in early 2019 in an effort to clean up the Navigation screen but due to overwhelming support it’s back!”
While it’s not difficult to be cynical about companies insisting that something returning is because of popular demand, it’s quite evident that individuals truly missed the compass. You don’t need to look far to find plenty of examples on Google own support pages.
The compass shows up as a widget on the right-hand side of the map screen, with a red arrow determinedly pointing north on the map as you turn your telephone. It’s a handy extra bit of information as you navigate unknown places, and given the small footprint it takes up, it’s hard to believe Google at any point thought it was worth removing.
Without a doubt, Google’s explanation that it was removed to clean up the navigation screen is little hard to stomach when the change only ever happened on the Android version of the app. The iOS edition has saved the compass for as long as two years, and Google says that iPhone owners will not at any point need to experience this time in the wild: “For Google Maps users on iOS the compass was not removed and will continue to be available,” the support post confirms.
They definitely realized that Google Maps would get a lot of upgrades, including Indoor Live View, integrated weather and air quality, and eco-friendly driving options, but the return of the compass was something that Google kept quiet until release.
You can see every one of these features in the latest version of Google Maps. In the event that it doesn’t automatically update, you’re searching for version 10.62 on the Google Play Store. Simply recollect that phone compasses aren’t in every case totally reliable, even after calibration, so don’t allow Google Maps to overrule your own senses when out exploring the world.