One year after Google first teased a dark mode for Google Maps, it looks like the update is finally starting to go out to users.
Some Android users on Reddit officially got a dark mode for Google Maps this week. When activated, the maps themselves turn dark shades of gray with colored text for all of the locations. The search bar at the top of the app is dark, too, and as is the navigation bar at the bottom and the location button in the lower right corner.
When you do get dark mode in Google Maps, you have the choice of keeping the light theme or dark theme on all the time or having Google Maps default to your device's theme.
So far, it looks like you'll need the latest version of Google Maps for Android to get dark mode, which is version 10.5.1. The folks on Reddit that got this dark theme are running Android 10 and Android 11, so your device's Android version doesn't appear to matter.
Google hasn't officially announced this Maps dark theme yet, and some folks who have the newest version of the app still don't have dark mode. So it's likely that this is a server side change that you'll just have to wait for Google to flip for your device.
Google Maps has offered a dark mode for when you're navigating at night for a while now, but this new dark mode turns the entire app dark. It'll be useful for those times when you do need directions at night and don't want to be blinded by a white interface. And while it has taken a while for Google Maps to finally get a dark mode, it's important that Google make sure everything looks and works correctly since Maps is a hugely popular app that many people rely on to get around every day.