Google Maps’ new Incognito Mode keeps your location private – here’s how to try it

Incognito Mode is now rolling out for Google Maps on Android, letting you cover your footprints when travelling – to a certain extent.

The new mode was first announced four months ago at Google IO, and has only now started to land on phones around the world. As Android Police explains, activating the feature (which has been in testing for some time) means that your location history in the app won’t be linked to your profile.

You also won’t receive notifications from Google Maps, and your personal data won’t be used to personalize the app.

That’s particularly handy if you’re worried about your phone being stolen and the thief finding out where you live or work.

However, it won’t keep all traces of your location secret. Other apps (such as fitness trackers) may also be tracking your whereabouts using GPS, and the new option for Google Maps will have no effect on them.

To find out which apps on your Android phone have access to location data, open the Settings menu and select Apps, then tap the menu button and select App Permissions > Location.

How to enable it

To try Incognito Mode for Google Maps, make sure you’ve updated to the latest version (10.26 or later), then enter the app and tap your profile icon. Select ‘Turn on Incognito Mode’.

When it’s activated, the status bar at the top will turn black and the words ‘Incognito Mode activated’ will appear. If you don’t see the option just yet, don’t worry – it should appear in the coming days.

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