Google Chrome’s Incognito mode is a rather useful feature in the browser, letting users browse with some of the typical impacts of surfing the Web removed. This includes keeping your search history clean, but is also particularly useful for surfing without using your personal information, which can be useful for various reasons. Google is now rolling out a similar Incognito mode to Google Maps, which will initially be available for Android devices. The feature promises a bit of privacy, and lets users use Google Maps slightly differently.
The feature is rolling out now, and Google states that the rollout is phased and will take a few days to be available for all users. If you have it already, you can activate it by following these steps: Open Google Maps > tap on your profile picture > tap on ‘Turn on Incognito mode’.
When the Google Maps Incognito mode feature is on, any searches will be kept out of your search history, location history won’t be impacted while the mode is on, and users’ personal data won’t be used to personalise maps. Once you’re done, you can turn it off the same way to let Maps regain access to those things.
This is useful if you want to hide where you’ve been or what you’ve searched for (for whatever reason, we aren’t judging), but an interesting implementation is keeping your personalised information out of any use. This might help you get unbiased results to any queries on Google Maps, which might come in handy in some situations.
The mode is useful from both a privacy point of view as well as keeping your search terms out of potential recommendations. For example, you might be searching for hotels in a particular city during a trip, but you don’t want your search history to be flooded with hotel recommendations in that city for the weeks and months after. Similarly, you might not want Google (or prying eyes) to know you went on that trip to that particular city. Once again, we aren’t judging.