A new version of Google Maps has just been released. Version 9.12.0 is rolling out with a new feature called Timeline. With timeline, it will show you where you've been, with approximate drive times and places you stopped. If you use Google Photos, it will even show a picture that you took during that time, to help you remember what you were doing.
If you hear the giant storm of posts on the Internet screaming privacy and tracking conspiracies, fear not, Google blogged about it:
Your Timeline is private and visible only to you; and you control the locations you choose to keep. This means you can easily delete a day or your full history at any time. You can edit any place that appears in Your Timeline, including removing a specific location or giving a frequented spot a private name like -- Mom’s House or My Favorite Running Spot. This spot will then appear right in Google Maps when you’re logged in.
So how can you help your friends and family when they worry?
- Have them take a deep breath. Only they can see it, and you can edit it. If there is some place you don't want to be remembered, just hit delete on the place and poof it's gone.
- Google isn't collecting any new information that you didn't opt into. You can easily turn your location history off and delete everything they have on you from within Maps app and from your "Location History" within your Google Account. If you haven't taken a look at all you've opted into, go here; they made it easier for you. Keep in mind if you use things like Google Now, it will be less effective because it won't know where you are at.
- If you don't want the photo showing but like the location, you can easily remove that with a few taps as well.
This isn't the end of the world, but the question "can I see your phone" just became a little more tougher to answer for some people.
What do you think? Cool feature or not?