Google Maps is testing an updated color palette for the background map layer that will undoubtedly draw some comparisons to Apple Maps.
The blue for water is much lighter than before (with some hints of green) and draws immediate comparison to Apple Maps. If you live near the ocean, lakes, or rivers, this will be quite noticeable and more vibrant.
Current | new | Apple Maps
In the opposite direction, Google is using a darker green (with some blue) for nature areas, like parks, forests, etc. Roads are now gray instead of white and stand out much more as a result. For thematic unity, freeways are a dark gray instead of yellow in another similarity to Apple’s approach.
Yellow/beige is still in use; dedicating that color to busy areas is a good idea. Meanwhile, the dark theme appears unchanged and continues to be darker than Apple Maps.
Elsewhere in the UI, directions use a much darker shade of green for the most important information. (It stands out less, in my opinion.)
In isolation, most of the color tweaks aren’t drastic. Combined, however, Google Maps looks quite different from before. The update to water and roads will draw the most comparisons to Apple Maps, with the latter change being pretty impactful in terms of visibility.
Meanwhile, Google Maps has a short Material 3 bottom bar but no dynamic color. We’re seeing a handful of reports of this rolling out today on Android, but it’s not widely available on any device we checked. Google might still be in the testing phase and change things before a wider launch.
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