Science

Google to remove experimental calorie counter from Maps following user backlash

Google to remove experimental calorie counter from Maps following user backlash

The calories were communicated in equivalence to the amount of "mini cupcakes".

Along with providing the user with an estimate on how many potential calories could be burned by walking a given route, the feature also told users how many mini cupcakes they could "earn" from walking.

The feature in its iOS app, which apparently was meant to encourage walking instead of driving, also shows users how many mini cupcakes they would burn from their walk.

While the company likely intended the feature to promote healthy living, it ignited backlash on social media sites.

The Verge also explained that on top of possibly triggering people with eating disorders, the estimated calorie burn as presented in Google Maps could be incorrect.

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Perhaps, had the feature been opt-in, or even opt-out, rather than appearing without warning with no off switch, it might have garnered a more positive reaction. "Not to mention just generally shamey", wrote one Twitter user. Additionally, the app doesn't take into account a user's personal health information, in the least height and weight, to calculate the calories that would be burned.

One of the things that has inflamed so many people is Google's way of saying that an average person burns about 90 calories for each mile on foot.

Google has ditched a feature from its hugely-popular navigation app on iOS, thanks to "strong user feedback".

Following the feedback, Google has chose to remove the feature from its iOS app. So, starting today, the tech giant will completely remove the controversial calorie counter. If a walking route was chosen, calories were displayed in the step-by-step directions, but not on the map itself. However, the app is not as widely used as Google Maps and doesn't include a cupcake comparison.