Google is developing Timeline feature for Android System Settings

Emre Çitak
Apr 26, 2023
Google Android, Mobile Computing

Google is reportedly developing a Timeline map feature for Android's system settings app, similar to the one available on Google Maps. The company is working on centralizing personal data management for Android users. This feature is expected to sit alongside other Google Account-related data options in the Location services section of the settings app.

Google News Telegram Channel editor, Nail Sadykov, discovered the Timeline feature by activating it through hidden flags in Google Play Services. The new section offers four top-level options, including Your Timeline to view past visits and routes, Export Timeline data to make a .json backup, Delete Timeline data, and Encrypted backup to transfer the timeline to another device.

Below, you may see the editor of the Google News Telegram channelNail Sadykov's tweet on the new Google Timeline feature.

Privacy-focused alternative to Google Maps' timeline

The Timeline feature appears to be a local-only, privacy-focused alternative to Google Maps' Timeline feature. Based on the descriptions and separation from Google Location History, this new feature could provide users with a more private way to manage their location history.

In the future, Google may merge Google Location History and the new Timeline feature. When selecting the Encrypted backup option, users are redirected to the Google Account Activity controls, indicating this as a potential scenario.

Google Timeline feature release date

The Timeline feature is still in development and is not yet available in a stable release. It remains to be seen whether other apps will integrate with the Timeline, as privacy and data-sharing concerns need to be addressed.

While the Timeline feature has the potential to make managing location history easier and more private for Android users, the privacy advantage may be questionable. Google notes that it can use the data to personalize users' experiences on its services.


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