Google Maps is fixing its most irritating Android issue

Wrong turns, begone!

Google Maps in 2022
(Image credit: Google)

Google is working on a way to make Maps more accurate. The orientation of Android phones can often be incorrect but should soon be addressed.

When using Google Maps, there's nothing more annoying than making a wrong turn. except making a right turn you thought was a wrong turn. That's because the device orientation on Google Maps has been off for millions of Android users - me included. Thankfully it might now be fixed.  

Walking around London a couple of weeks ago with my Android phone, I found myself taking several wrong turns and doubling back just because my device wouldn't know which way I was facing.  Needless to say, it was maddening, and unless I twisted my elbow to all kinds of angles I was constantly going the wrong way, 

Currently, Android phones use the Android Rotation Vector to judge orientation with Google maps, but Google has apparently had feedback from developers about its inaccuracies.

So what's the potentially incoming fix? That's where things get a bit technical. Google explains it has added a new Fused Orientation Provider (FOP) API  "that provides quality and consistent device orientation by fusing signals from accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer." Still with me? Well, Google has promised this new system will bring"more consistent behaviour and high performance across devices." 

As long as your phone runs Android 5 or later (so everyone- if not you are a security risk) It should be a fairly simple change to roll out and as long as my phone faces the same direction as me, I'll be happy. Google Maps is a brilliantly useful bit of software when it works and this latest news comes on the back of the implementation of a brand new feature last week. 

Now if only they could improve my lacklustre sense of direction in general. That might be a bit trickier. 

Andy Sansom
Staff Writer

Andy is T3's Tech Staff Writer, covering all things technology, including his biggest passions such as gaming, AI, phones, and basically anything cool and expensive he can get his hands on. If he had to save one possession from a fire it would be his PlayStation 5. He previously worked for Tom’s Guide - where he got paid to play with ChatGPT every day. When it comes to streaming, Andy will have his headphones glued in whilst watching something that will make him laugh. He studied Creative Writing at university, but also enjoys supporting his favourite football team (Liverpool), watching F1, teaching himself guitar, and spending time with his dog.