Tag Archives: Google Location History

Google Location History Timeline comes to the Google Maps app

Earlier in August I had written about the Timeline feature or interface for Google Location History. I have been a long term user of Location History and now use the Timeline view frequently to review the places I’ve been to and the routes I have taken.

Last night I was using the Google Maps app on my Android phone and came across the Your Timeline item in the menu. It turns out be the same Timeline view for Location History that we know of from the desktop version.

You can review and edit the visited places that Google tries to auto-detect. But there’s a new feature! It now also tries to detect and show you how you got from one place to another – walking, cycling, driving or various modes of public transit. And like places, you can correct them too. Yes, there’s a motorcycling mode too and I’ve only tried changing to it manually as I don’t see it would differentiate between driving and motorcycling.

The Timeline is now a lot like the iOS version of the Moves app which also lets you select various modes of transportation, including muscle powered modes. Google’s Timeline also lets you choose such modes like swimming, skiing and kayaking, though the list isn’t as exhaustive as Moves’.

Moves however, is no longer a relevant app for me as all of the features I described above are available only on iOS and have not been ported to the Android version for a very long time now.

With Google’s Timeline though, I see it available only on the Android app as of now. I could not find it on the latest iOS app but I hope it’s only a matter of time before it’s available there as well.

Unlike Moves, Google Timeline does not track various details of physical activity like calorie and step counts across various activities and locations. That’s understandable as it’s Google Location History with the primary emphasis being on location. But as Google is already tracking activity related data also with the Google Fit app, maybe we’ll see an integration of that into Location History Timeline as well.

Google updates Location History with cool new Timeline feature

When I opened up Google Location History yesterday to review my route after a quick motorcycle ride, I was pleasantly surprised by a slick new interface called Timeline.

Gone is the somewhat drab  yet very functional old interface with just the map and a simple calendar based control to view your location history on various dates or date ranges.

The new Timeline interface shows the map on the entire page much like the new Google Maps interface with various places from your entire location history marked on it. On the top left is a simple control with the Timeline heading to filter your view based on year, month and date.

At the bottom part of the page are some interesting bits. There’s a section for your trips that intelligently detects and organizes  your trips, much like how Google Plus does it.

When you open each trip, you can see the individual days from the trip represented as a timeline on the left and a map on the right. The timeline shows the various places you have been at various times. For most of these places you can either confirm you were there by clicking on a “I was here” button, or change an incorrect guess to the correct one using the drop-down menu.

I have been using location history since the days of Google Latitude and consider it a very useful service though many are paranoid about it’s implications on their privacy. I don’t know how popular the service is on the whole as it seemed to be kind of a hidden Google Maps feature after Latitude went away. I have been hoping for a long time that Google continue this service, and with the new Timeline update it looks like they are committed to keeping it going. But with Google, one can never really be sure.