What you need to know
- Google might shut down the native Street View app next year.
- A new code found in the latest app update suggests so.
- The move favors using Google Maps or Street View Studio, as they come with Street View integration.
Google is reportedly attempting to discontinue its well-liked Street View application.
In the app's latest build uploaded on Google Play Store bearing the 188.8.131.524371618 version, the APK Insights provided by 9to5Google found instances of possible app shutdown next year. They include shutdown notices within the app that could be showcased to users beginning later this year.
The notice includes a potential shutdown date, which is set for March 21, 2023. It encourages users to shift to Street View in the native Google Maps app and/or the Street View Studio — a web app for contributors.
"To publish your own 360 video, switch to Street View Studio. To view Street View and add Photo Spheres, use Google Maps."
A Google spokesperson later confirmed with The Verge that the Street View app is indeed being discontinued.
9to5Google also suggests the prominent Photo Path feature introduced last year in the Google Street View app is being led to a complete shutdown with the new update. For the uninitiated, the feature has been helpful for users or contributors to click a lane/street picture in 2D from their smartphones and upload it to Street View. The feature, however, worked for images that weren't already present in the Street View app.
Users curious about exploring streets and lanes turned to the useful Street View app. Contributors interested in sharing a 360-degree view of a specific street found it helpful because it gave users a unique viewpoint on exploring streets and neighborhoods. The app gave means to explore different parts of the world on your Android devices and iPhones.
It isn't too surprising that Google is ridding itself of the fairly redundant app. The same was done with Google moving away from the Assistant Driving Mode dashboard and instead directing users to just use Driving Mode on Google Maps.
That said, the Street View app's features have been cited as a security concern in countries like India. Though the app launched in 2011, it wasn't fully functional due to restrictions from the Government of India, citing security reasons. However, the feature made a comeback this July in India with new partners and fresh imagery.
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Vishnu works as a freelance News Writer for Android Central. For the past four years, he's been writing about consumer technology, primarily involving smartphones, laptops, and every other gizmo connected to the Internet. When he is away from keyboard, you can see him going on a long drive or chilling on a couch binge-watching some crime series.