Google has been teasing a dark theme for Maps for a year now, and after some code surfaced that pointed to traces of a dark mode in version 10.50 of the app, we've now got our first look at a proper, finished night-compatible theme in version 10.51.1. It's currently rolling out as a limited server-side update to a few people only.
It seems like the wait was worth it. It's well executed and makes it easy to make out streets and houses, losing little to no clarity compared to the light theme. That's essential for a navigation app and might be the reason why it took this long, though the navigation night mode could've probably served as a template.
All other interface elements are also available in shades of gray, and almost all bright accent colors have been switched for more muted pastels. A toggle has been added to settings that allows you to use Maps in dark mode at all times (or never), if you prefer.
As far as we can tell from our tests, the dark theme is dependent on a server-side switch, so installing the latest version of Maps won't get you there. It's still a good idea to stay up-to-date, as it might help you get in on the new interface faster. You can download the latest release from the Play Store or get it over at APK Mirror.
- Guilherme Vier,
- Ramit Suri,
- and Armando