We’ve all been there. Despite your best efforts swirling around mid-pavement, divining a route to a new place using the mystical power of the blue dot, you’ve turned the wrong way and now you’re several blocks away from your intended destination. Never fear cartologically-challenged folk! Augmented reality directions are here. Yesterday (8 August) Google launched a beta version of its Live View mode in Google Maps, which uses your camera, visual information from Street View and location data to tell you exactly where you should be heading.
After holding up your phone to your environment and clicking Live View in Google Maps, huge arrows pop up on top of whatever is happening in real-time. The new AR feature also flags up street names and other helpful markers, showing you exactly how to reach your destination.
The AR Live View has been available to Google Pixel owners since March but will roll out to all users over the next week. The new feature will be compatible with all ARKit-compatible iOS devices and Android devices with Google’s ARcore technology, which is the majority of smartphones.
The new AR feature is part of a suite of upgrades to the app, which will see the introduction of a Reservations tab (storing information about booked flights and hotels) and a timeline feature. It’s part of a strategy from the tech company to encourage users to plan all their trips through the app.