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Google Maps dark mode ‘leaks’ – but don’t get too excited

Screenshots of a new Google Maps dark mode have leaked online, suggesting the new look could roll out in the very near future.

The leak stemmed from a blog post on EmbedMap, which alleged getting sent the screens from an unnamed source. The images show what appears to be a new dark mode in Google Maps, that replaces the service’s traditional white colouring.

The news isn’t official and Google hasn’t made any formal announcement about a Google Maps dark mode yet. Given the fact that we’ve never heard of the source we’d take this leak with a serious pinch of salt as a result.

Related: Dark mode apps explained

We would expect a Google Maps dark mode to appear at some point though. Dark modes are a vogue item in tech at the moment. They turn traditionally light UIs dark. As well as looking cool the modes can also help improve device’s battery lives, if they use OLED screens. This is because they reduce the number of pixels the screen needs to charge.

Google added a dark mode to its latest Android 10 operating system, which launched earlier this month on the new Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL. Despite being baked into the OS directly it doesn’t currently work on every Google app – which is why things like Google Maps still don’t have it.

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To date the company has only rolled out official dark modes for Google Photos, Gmail for Android and Fit. Many third party applications, like Twitter and Facebook Messenger also have dark modes.

Google is one of many companies rushing to add dark modes to its app portfolio. Apple started rolling out dark modes to its services. Both iOS 13 and MacOS Catalina have in built dark modes. Microsoft has been adding dark modes to some of its biggest services, including Outlook.

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