Monday, April 12, 2021
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Google Maps restores compass when navigating on Android


After initially removing the compass within Maps on Android way back in early 2019, Google has now restored the much-loved feature after fan pressure.

The little floating compass widget was unceremoniously ripped from Maps in what Google said was an “effort to clean up the Navigation screen” — which you can see in the header image above. However, in an official support thread, Google confirmed that the compass is returning to Google Maps on Android (h/t Android Police). What’s more annoying was that the iOS version of Maps retained the compass throughout this entire period, another reason that Android owners sometimes feel treated as second-class citizens by Google.

You wanted it and we heard you!  We’re excited to announce the return of the compass on Maps for Android.  The compass was removed from Maps for Android in early 2019 in an effort to clean up the Navigation screen but due to overwhelming support it’s back!

Don’t expect the compass to appear right away when you launch Google Maps though, as you’ll need to start navigating to a route before it returns to the right-sided floating widget panel. Doing so will add it back where it always belonged, beneath the circular volume and search buttons:

Just like it did previously, the red arrow will indicate which direction is north, making it easier to determine just which direction you’re headed — if that matters to you. The original post suggests that the compass should be restored on Google Maps version 10.62 no matter what region you live in. You should be able to grab the Maps 10.62 update right now directly from the Play Store.

More on Google Maps:

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David Haney
Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of all tech news

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