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New Google Maps color scheme is coming to third-party apps

Google Maps running on a smartphone
Image via Pexels

Google is bringing its new color scheme and default map style to third-party apps that use Google Maps Platform - APIs and SDKs developers can use to embed Google Maps in their apps or websites. The search giant started the transition in May 2024 and will continue till March 18, 2025.

The updated color scheme started showing up last year and is now common across Android, iOS, and Web. Among various changes, it replaced the yellow-colored roads with grey and used teal instead of blue to represent water bodies.

Google Maps new color scheme

Not all users welcomed Google's unexpected changes with open arms, including a former Google Maps designer who took to their social media account. While the new style may feel "colder, less accurate and less human," it improved the usability and readability of Maps.

In a new support document (spotted by Android Authority), Google has discussed the rollout schedule for different tools, such as the respective Google Maps SDKs for Android and iOS, which have been updated already. In the coming months, Google will update others, such as Navigation SDK, Maps Static API, and Maps Embed API.

Between May 2024 and March 18, 2025, Google Maps Platform will update the default map style for the following APIs and SDKs. To confirm compatibility with your maps experience, you can opt in to update to the new map style earlier, depending on the product you use.

Developers who use map IDs (a unique identifier that represents a single instance of a Google Map) for their apps can update to the latest version of cloud-based map styling to get the refreshed map style on mobile and web. Those who don't use map IDs will have to update their respective SDK or API manually.

Those who opt-in for the new map style will get a few months to change their mind, as Google won't allow them to opt-out after March 18, 2025, when the transition completes.

On March 18, 2025, the default map style will update to the latest version, with a new color palette, improved map experiences, and better usability.

However, even with the new style, Google will allow developers to "create custom map styles reminiscent of the current default map styles." With the new changes coming into place, it's evident that the new Google Maps colors are here to stay, whether you like it or not.

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