Google Maps, augmented reality navigation arrives

On Google Mpas augmented reality arrives for directions: here's how the navigation app changes

After announcing it last February and making it available for Pixel owners and Local Guides, Google has begun the official release of augmented reality information on Google Maps. What is it all about? About Live View, a feature that allows you to use AR to get directions while visiting a city. Three-dimensional arrows are shown on the smartphone screen showing the way to take to get to your destination. Augmented reality directions are only available for walking navigation.

Google announced that the release will be gradual: within a few weeks it will be available for all users. In order to use augmented reality within Google Maps, you need to have an Android smartphone that supports ARCore or an iPhone compatible with ARKit. These are the two technologies developed by Google and Apple to integrate augmented reality into smartphones. So far they have been little exploited by software houses, but in the next few years more and more applications that will use them are expected to arrive.

How it works

The new Google Maps feature is very simple to use. First you need to update the application to the latest version and check that your smartphone supports ARCore or ARKit. After these preliminary checks, you can try the new "Live View" feature.

The first thing you need to do is to enter the destination address and select walk navigation. Then you have to select "Live View" at the bottom of the screen. Magically, three-dimensional directions will appear on the screen: when you need to turn, you won't have any more problems: just follow the big colored arrows.

You won't even have to be afraid of potholes or poles: the application will automatically indicate all the obstacles you'll find along the way. Augmented reality, however, will not only help with directions, but also with finding monuments and points of interest while we're walking. A very useful feature that will forever change the way we use Google Maps.

The new Google Maps interface

In addition to the augmented reality directions, Google has also released the new Maps user interface. Compared to the past, the lines of the icons and panes have become much smoother and in line with Android Q.

The new user interface is available from Google Maps version 10.22.1 and is already available on the Google Play Store and App Store.