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Customizable car navigation icons are coming to Google Maps for Android [APK Insight]

Google unveiled a big update to Maps at I/O 2018 that added a Material Theme and “Your score” feature to rank places based on your preferences. Fully rolled out in June, the latest beta version is now preparing a previously announced group planning feature and the ability to customize car icons.

About APK Insight: In this ‘APK Insight’ post, we’ve decompiled the latest version of an application that Google uploaded to the Play Store. When we decompile these files (called APKs, in the case of Android apps), we’re able to see various lines of code within that hint at possible future features. Keep in mind that Google may or may not ever ship these features, and our interpretation of what they are may be imperfect. We’ll try to enable those that are closer to being finished, however, to show you how they’ll look in the case that they do ship. With that in mind, read on.

Customizable car icons in navigation

Back in May, Google announced a small customization that lets users swap out the blue navigation arrow for a new icon. This small tweak is quite delightful and allows users to choose from a “stylish sedan, a timeless pickup truck, or a speedy SUV.”

When the functionality is live, tapping on the classic arrow while in driving navigation mode will bring up a panel to make a selection. Version 9.84 includes strings that suggest the feature will soon make its way to Android.


<string name=”CUSTOM_CHEVRON_PROMO_ENTRY_POINT_ICON_CONTENT_DESCRIPTION”>Change your vehicle icon</string>

<string name=”CUSTOM_CHEVRON_PROMO_OPT_OUT_CONFIRMATION”>”You’ve removed the custom vehicle”</string>

<string name=”CUSTOM_CHEVRON_PROMO_OPT_OUT_ICON_CONTENT_DESCRIPTION”>Restore original vehicle icon</string>

Group planning

At I/O, Google also announced a group planning feature that allows users to quickly make sharable lists by just long pressing on a location. Member of that list can upvote or downvote each selection with Maps then tallying the results. Google has been working on implementing the feature for the past few updates, and continues work in version 9.84.



<string name=”CLEAR_UNSHARED_SHORTLIST_AND_OPEN_SHARED_SHORTLIST_CONFIRMATION_DIALOG_MESSAGE”>Opening a new shortlist will clear your currently saved places</string>

How to update?

You can sign-up for the Google Maps beta program here or by heading to the Play Store listing on Android and scrolling to the bottom. The latest beta version of the Google app is immediately rolled out when it’s available.

We do not post APKs to download directly given the legal challenges associated with copyright and possibility of removal. Meanwhile, that model moving forward is perilous given upcoming system-level changes from Android App Bundles and Google Play’s Dynamic Delivery.

Thanks to JEB Decompiler, which some APK Insight teardowns benefit from.

Dylan contributed to this article

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Avatar for Abner Li Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: