Skip to main content

Google Maps working on feature that shows well-lit streets?

Google Maps, which is continually releasing new features and updates to further improve the experience for its millions of users, reportedly has another one in the pipeline that will focus on making navigation at night safer.

XDA Developers spotted code in the Google Maps v10.31.0 beta that reveal the Lighting Layer, which will show streets that have good lighting. Activating the feature will highlight well-lit streets in yellow, and there will also be indicators for streets with poor to no lighting.

The code suggests that Google Maps users will need to zoom in to see the lighting data, and that the feature will initially be available only in certain regions. There is no information, however, on which countries will first receive the Lighting Layer, and when it will be added to the public version of the app.

No screenshots of the feature were available, as it is currently in development and not yet live. It is unclear how Google will acquire the necessary information for the filter, and how it will be able to keep that information updated as lighting fixtures are added to streets, or if they get broken.

The feature will be a welcome addition to people who rely on Google Maps whenever they are in unfamiliar territory, such as tourists walking or driving in foreign cities or countries. It will also help people plan safer routes, avoiding streets with poor to no lighting.

Google Maps’ Lighting Layer will eventually join a long list of features for the navigation app, which has increasingly become a versatile tool for travelers. Google recently started experimenting with placing Local Guides in the For You section for easy-to-access travel tips, and has added to the app certain capabilities of Google Translate to make it easier to move around in foreign countries.

Some of the features rolled out by Google Maps this year that focus on the safety of its users include improved voice guidance and verbal announcements for users who are blind or have limited vision, and a new navigation warning system on natural disasters that will lead people away from potentially dangerous situations.

Editors' Recommendations

Aaron Mamiit
Aaron received a NES and a copy of Super Mario Bros. for Christmas when he was 4 years old, and he has been fascinated with…
Check your Google Pixel Watch right now for two new features
A person wearing the Google Pixel Watch 2.

If you own a Google Pixel Watch, you may want to check your smartwatch for a new software update. Google has begun rolling out its April 2024 security update for both Pixel Watch models, and it packs a couple of new features you'll want to try out.

In its blog post announcing the new update, Google says it includes "new features, numerous bug fixes, and performance updates for Pixel Watch users." In addition to those ever-important bug fixes, there are two specific upgrades we think you'll really like.

Read more
Your Google Pixel 8 is getting this cool missing feature after all
The Google Pixel 8 on a table.

A feature you thought wasn’t coming to your Google Pixel 8 is coming to your Pixel 8, after all. It’s Gemini Nano, the on-device AI that recently launched on the Pixel 8 Pro, but Google claimed it wouldn’t work on the cheaper Pixel 8. Backtracking on previous statements is rarely a good thing, but this time, it has a happy ending.

Gemini Nano — the name given to the most efficient version of Google’s Gemini AI, joining Gemini Pro and Ultra — arrived on the Pixel 8 Pro in an update in December 2023. It was good news, but Pixel 8 owners were oddly left out. In an episode of the Android Developers podcast in March 2024, it was then claimed Gemini Nano wouldn’t operate on the non-Pro Pixel 8 at all due to unspecified hardware limitations, which was a blow to owners of the cheaper phone as it even uses the same processor as the Pro model.

Read more
6 reasons why you shouldn’t buy the iPhone 15
A green iPhone 15 lock screen.

The Apple iPhone 15 series was introduced last year and includes the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max. These are Apple's latest phones until the iPhone 16 series is announced this fall.

The iPhone 15 would typically be an excellent choice for users who don't require all the additional features of the iPhone 15 Pro series. However, there are several reasons why you should no longer consider this phone. Some of these reasons are related to the phone itself, while others are associated with where we are on Apple's iPhone release schedule.

Read more