Google Maps on Android is seeing a classic feature return with its latest update. Two years after it was removed in an effort to clean up the app’s interface, Google confirmed that it is bringing the compass back. Yes, it seems that Android users are finally recovering the tool that has been the cornerstone of navigation for centuries.
Google announced the return of the compass in a support post discovered by Android Police. Apparently, Google was led to reset the compass after receiving “overwhelming” feedback in support of the tool after its removal in 2019. “You wanted it and we heard it! We are pleased to announce the return of the compass on Maps for Android, ”wrote Shweta, Google Maps community manager, in that support post. “The compass was removed from Maps for Android in early 2019 in an effort to clean the navigation screen, but due to overwhelming support, it is back!”
The compass will appear on the side of the screen whenever you use Maps to navigate to a destination. The widget, for those who do not remember, is quite simple in its implementation, offering only a red arrow that points continuously to the north, even while its relative position rotates. Still, this is enough to satisfy the functionality requirements of a compass, so in this case, its simplicity does not matter much.
Google says the compass is returning to the Android version of Maps in version 10.62, which is being released globally. Interestingly, the compass has never disappeared from the iOS version of Google Maps, so iPhone users can continue to use it as they always have.
Just a few days ago, Google announced a number of new features for Google Maps in 2021, with many of these features based on AI. By the end of the year, Maps will be able to do things like show air quality and weather forecasts at your destination, offer Live View in some indoor locations, like shopping malls and public transit stations, and even offer eco-friendly routes that use less fuel. You can read more about these new features in our Google ad summary, but otherwise, Android users must install version 10.62 to get their compass back.