Recently the incognito mode of Google Maps has come out, similar to what has existed for a long time in Chrome and YouTube. The announcement came in early October 2019, when the company said that the feature had started rolling out, but first on Android devices, while iOS would soon receive support for it. In this installment I will show you how you can enable and use this useful privacy feature.
Other features that the tech giant promised at I / O 2019 include filters that can automatically remove location history, app activity, and the web. This gives you more ways to control your privacy on Google Maps, avoid being tracked, or even save your activity to your Google account.
How to enable incognito mode in Google Maps
Enabling incognito mode on Google maps requires a few simple steps.
STEP 1. Launch the Google Maps application on your Android phone.
STEP 2. Tap the photo of your profile icon in the upper right corner of the screen.
STEP 3. In the menu that appears, tap Turn on incognito mode. Your profile icon will change to the incognito icon, instead of your profile picture.
When you enable incognito mode, you will receive an alert that says: “Turning on incognito mode on Maps does not affect how Internet providers, other applications, voice search, and other Google services use your activity.”
All you do is minimize your Google Maps navigation log in your Google account; it does not anonymize or mask your web traffic to the rest of the world. All data generated from incognito mode on Google Maps is stored with a unique session identifier.
From now on, such data from your Android device will not be shown in your Google location history. Similarly, updates on your device’s location will be paused if you share your location with someone else through Google Maps.
How to disable incognito mode in Google Maps
Of course, you can return to normal mode at any time. In that mode, you can share your location and device, or Google account with others without hiding. That means you’ll get back your personalized recommendations, notifications and messages, offline maps, suggestions to complete searches and history, contributions from Google Maps, your places and media integration, among other settings.
To disable incognito mode, follow these steps:
STEP 1. Open Google Maps and tap the incognito icon in the upper right corner of the screen.
STEP 2. In the menu, tap Turn off incognito mode and the app will return to normal mode.
How the incognito mode of Google Maps works
With growing concerns about digital privacy and behavior tracking, businesses today are responding more than ever to user demands by implementing applications and tools that they can use to control their privacy. To this end, Google introduced several privacy enhancements that prevent it from saving some types of data while eliminating application customization. That doesn’t mean they can’t track your movements.
When you enter incognito mode, the first thing you will notice is that your profile icon changes from your normal profile photo to the incognito icon. Your Google Maps activity will not be saved in the Google account. You also won’t see the usual personalized recommendations in the app. For example, if you are looking for a hotel or restaurant, Google Maps will not save this information in incognito mode.
Other details that this mode does not show are information about your trip, such as the length of time it takes to get to work from home.
The app will also not update your shared location or location history. So the person you share your location with won’t see where you are, even if the setting is enabled.
What does not happen in incognito mode
Similar to using incognito mode in the Chrome web browser, activating the feature in Google Maps will not affect how Internet service providers, voice search, other Google services and applications save or use your activity. It also won’t make your activity as invisible as it seems.
It will only keep your location information private. Therefore, other users will not see your activity, not necessarily hiding your browsing history from Google Maps or other sites.
When you are in incognito mode, you do not receive information such as notifications, messages, search and history suggestions, contributions from Google Maps, offline maps, microphone of the Google assistant in navigation and your places.
Incognito mode is for your privacy, what dark mode is for your eyes and device battery life. It may not protect your privacy completely, or guarantee that your movements are completely invisible. Even so, at least other people with whom you share your device, Google account or location, will not be able to see where you are going or the places you have searched.