Why has Google Maps changed colour? Annoyed users demand old look back

The new look Google Maps is irking some users (Google)
The new look Google Maps is irking some users (Google)

Redesigns for popular apps typically don’t go down well with long-time users. Just ask Snapchat.

Now, Google is in the firing line for changing the colours on Google Maps. The app most people use to get around has embraced a range of new shades that some claim mimic Apple Maps.

The first thing you’ll probably spot is that roads have switched from white to grey. Meanwhile, motorways have gone from an eye-catching yellow to a slightly darker hue of grey.

By comparison, Google has made the blue for water slightly brighter, which should be noticeable for those who live near rivers or lakes. Whereas nature areas are now a darker green, with a dash of blue thrown in for good measure.

Londoners should see a smattering of yellow and beige around the capital, which indicates a busy area.

The update has inevitably divided users, many of whom have been sharing their opinions online. Some claim Google has committed an almighty blunder by making Google Maps harder to navigate. Others just want the option to switch back to the old colour palette.

“I think the water is a fairly significant change, it's a much closer shade to the green of the land which makes it a little harder to differentiate at a quick glance,” writes a Reddit user.

“Hate it hate it hate it hate it. Yellow roads were so good, and everything was bright and cheery,” states another person on Reddit. “Now it’s depressing and the roads are hard to see when not fairly zoomed in, they just don’t pop like the yellow did,”

“hey @googlemaps please change the color of the maps back to normal! this color is NOT good,” reads a post on X, formerly Twitter.

“The new Google Maps color scheme is shockingly bad. I live near lots of state parks, county & town parks, golf courses, and even national parks.  All of it is just one big green blob now. There's no way to discern anything,” writes another disgruntled user on X.

Can you change the colours on Google Maps?

For now, it appears that dark mode remains unchanged on Google Maps. Some users have also suggested switching accounts to revert to the old colour palette, but that may be too much of a fuss for those who use the app regularly.

Currently, it seems that the update is gradually making its way to users in the UK. We spotted it on the web version of Google Maps, but it wasn’t available on the app.

Google began testing the changes in late August, and they’re now starting to appear for more people. We’ve reached out to the company for comment.