Although Google Maps still doesn't have dark theme support, a workaround as been spotted that could give us a glimpse of what the feature will look like when it does arrive. Some searches in the Google app load their own stripped-down Maps view, and if you can get the app to work in dark theme on your phone, that Maps view is dressed up in a snazzy dark theme, too.

Google may have finally given us a dark theme with Android 10, but the company has been slow to roll out the feature to all of its own first-party apps. Google Maps has been one of the biggest omissions, and although it's had a dark theme splash screen for some time, the app itself has stuck with a bright look — outside of the navigation mode. Though the company teased a dark mode for the app last year, we're still stuck twiddling our thumbs for it now some eight months later.

Dark theme in a map view via the Google App.

We don't know precisely how old this change might be. The Google app started picking up dark theme support last year, though Google only formally announced it back in May. We don't know if this change was present then or not, but this is the first we've personally seen of it. Either way, searches in the Google app that trigger results on a map (like business types or cuisines) show a snazzy dark theme view of that map that can be expanded and panned around.

Note that not all searches will show this view. More specific or specialized queries for certain businesses may just spit you to the Maps app, but it seems to work for more general searches with multiple results, like business types or foods.

Left: Default "light" theme in Maps. Center: Dark theme in Google app search results. Right: Dark theme in Maps navigation. 

There's no telling if this is the sort of dark theme that Google Maps will ultimately end up with, either. Though it certainly looks convincing, the color combinations are different from what Google uses in the dark theme navigation layout (above right) in Google Maps. The dark theme layout for Maps in Google search looks like Google inverted luminosity while preserving color, and the navigation mode has different, much more blue hues.

Again, we're not sure how new this dark theme map view in search results inside the Google app is, but it could be a more recent change. If so, proper dark theme support for the Google Maps app may not be too far behind.

  • Thanks:
  • Rony Mischuk