This story was originally published and last updated .
Google Maps keeps track of your daily timeline, and though its level of accuracy can feel a little too invasive, it's an excellent tool for tracking vacations, road trips, and any other travel. Timeline is getting a fresh coat of paint, along with a couple of new features to help you track your activity on an even deeper level. The new Insights tab now appears to be rolling out to more users.
Insights is part of Timeline, where it keeps track of how you've moved throughout a period of time. It looks at your modes of travel — from walking to flying — and charts your movement on a month-by-month basis. You can compare your activity using the bar graphs to the right of each entry. It's a neat way to see how much you're moving throughout the month without having to rely on fitness apps that only look at walking or biking.
The new timeline interface in Maps, complete with insights.
It's not just capable of tracking how you're moving — it can also keep an eye on what kinds of places you've been. Google uses its extensive knowledge of locations like shops, restaurants, and bars to learn where you're spending your time. As a result, the Insights tab works like a stats page for what you've been doing in your free time. It even details your "busiest" day of the month.
The rest of the new UI has a few minor appearance changes, including less white space between entries to display more information on a single screen. It's also a lot easier to edit your timeline now, thanks to a new floating action button. The old interface required edits to each entry one by one, which could grow tedious if you have to work through multiple entries. You'll also spot the new Trips tab, first announced last December, alongside the other entries.
The current timeline interface in Maps.
Overall, it's a promising improvement to something plenty of users rely on for tracking. There's no word on when Insights and the timeline's redesigned UI will go live for everyone or if it's just in testing at the moment. If you're the type of person who finds themselves driven by stats, you'll want to keep an eye out for this.
Insights is now arriving for more users
The useful new Insights tab that we first learned about last month appears to be rolling out to more users now, including in Germany (according to @SmartDroidDE) and here in the UK as well. Check out your Timeline in Google Maps and see if the new tab is available to you. It's there for me, but I'm yet to see some of the other design changes mentioned above, so don't expect it all to come at once.
- Ramit Suri