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Google Maps is killing Timeline access on the web very soon

Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

TL;DR

  • Google Maps is sunsetting web access for its Timeline feature that allows users to view their location history.
  • The company is switching to an on-device approach that is more private and works on each phone independently.
  • After transitioning, users will be able to back up and restore their Timeline data to avoid losing it when switching devices.

For years, Google Maps has allowed users to track the locations they visit using its Timeline feature. The option works in the background and keeps track of users’ movement at all times. Those who opted in can view their location history on the web and in the Google Maps app. To keep users’ sensitive location data more private and secure, Google Maps will sunset web access for its Timeline feature in the coming months.

As per an Android Police report, Google Maps has started emailing users about changes coming to the Timeline feature. The company plans to sunset web access and switch to a more private, on-device approach. This would make Google Maps’ Timeline data unique to each connected phone — as the migration would deactivate the universal sync mechanism.

Once your account is ready to transition, Google Maps should alert you via email and a push notification. Through a dedicated button on the updated app, you’ll then be able to migrate your existing location history to the on-device database. If you take no action and miss the deadline, Google could purge some or all of your location history when it sunsets Timeline’s web access.

To help users retain their data in the long run, Google Maps has also introduced a new backup feature for Timeline. Users can rely on it to save encrypted copies of their location history on Google’s servers. They can then restore these backups in the Google Maps app when they switch to a new phone.

It’s currently unclear when Google Maps will completely kill Timeline’s web access. The company is seemingly assigning users different deadlines, with one being on December 1, 2024. Worry not, though, as Google won’t wipe your location history before alerting you in advance. So, if you haven’t been notified by the company yet, you can continue using the feature normally until further notice.

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