Google Maps gets rid of another feature on Web

Timeline on Google maps
(Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google Maps Timeline is moving away from the web to the mobile app. Users will need to switch to the app to access their location history.
  • Google is giving its users time until 1 December to make the switch, after which most of their routes and visits will be auto deleted. 
  • The company says that this switch will help users have more control over their data that will be stored on their device, rather than Google's servers.

In its latest update, Google stated that it will remove the Timeline feature on the web version of Google Maps. The timeline, originally named "location history," is a feature that lets you keep track of the places you've visited and the routes traveled. 

Timeline, since 2015, has added the ability to collate images you've taken at particular locations, giving you a better overview of all your travels.

In December 2023, Google changed where the location history was being stored. Users who have chosen to turn Location History on (it’s off by default) will see Google Maps' Timeline saved directly on their device rather than the web, giving them even more control over their data. 

This means that if you access Google Maps on the web, the Timeline will not show any history about the places you've visited. Instead, the company is pushing users to download the app and continue accessing the feature. 

The tech giant states that to keep their old Timeline data and continue storing new information, users need to update to the most recent version of Maps, follow the instructions, which they will receive as a push notification, in-app alert, on-screen instructions, or email, and Tap on done.

Timeline on device rolling out from r/Android

According to an email sent to Android Police, users have until December 1, 2024, to be able to make the shift from the web version to the app. Otherwise, all the saved data will be lost. However, the company says that it will try moving up to 90 days of Timeline data to the "first-signed- in device" after the deadline. Any routes or visits made before that period will be auto-deleted.

Several users took to Reddit to express their dismay about this transition, while some felt that Google will now take the time to perfect the Timeline feature on the app. 

One user stated that they use Google Timeline on the web daily and "this is very very bad news for me. They keep the option to upload to cloud, however that will be encrypted thus web viewing is gone. They don't care about current web users at all."

Another user feels that this would be a great move in terms of the overall experience using the Timeline feature on mobile,"it's not easy to navigate right now which is why I sometimes turn to the web, simple because it's faster and has more filtering options."

Transitioning from the Web to the App will give users autonomy over their personal data without the stress of having Google handle it. However, it could cause inconvenience to those who prefer using the web version to keep track of their whereabouts. The company says it is rolling this out gradually, and users will get a notification when an update is available for their account.

Nandika Ravi
News Editor

Nandika Ravi is an Editor for Android Central. Based in Toronto, after rocking the news scene as a Multimedia Reporter and Editor at Rogers Sports and Media, she now brings her expertise into the Tech ecosystem. When not breaking tech news, you can catch her sipping coffee at cozy cafes, exploring new trails with her boxer dog, or leveling up in the gaming universe.