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Google Maps adds background blurring when viewing photos

After previewing glanceable directions and rolling out Wear OS 3 AOD support, Google Maps is getting a small tweak to the photo viewer.

Previously, user-uploaded photos that didn’t exactly fit your screen were displayed against a black background. That has now been replaced by a dynamic one that uses a blurred version of the image as a backdrop. 

The color addition does make the app a bit more lively, while the user and time information has been moved to the bottom for a thicker bar with the “Helpful” button/count also getting more prominence. It’ll be slightly easier to jump into Local Guides profiles. Close and flag in the top corners round out this UI. 

We’re seeing this photo blurring in Google Maps for Android (version 11.66), but not on iOS.

Meanwhile, we’re now widely seeing the camera icon in the search bar to launch the Live View AR overlay when in Los Angeles and New York. It should also be rolled out in other Search with Live View cities like London, Paris, San Francisco, and Tokyo. The ability to search in augmented reality is coming next to Barcelona, Dublin, and Madrid.

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Avatar for Abner Li Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: