Google Maps updates with a new Live View feature: useful directions in augmented reality to find the right way
Walking or strolling in unfamiliar cities with Google Maps becomes easier thanks to Live View. If finding your way around the streets can be difficult for many people, the new augmented reality feature in the Mountain View app makes it possible to keep your position under control at all times thanks to landmarks visible directly on the map.
After a trial launched by Google last year, the app's navigation add-on promises to become a valuable aid for moving through the streets and alleyways of cities around the world. As soon as the launch phase is over, which is scheduled for the next few weeks, Google Maps will first allow the system to be used in AR in 25 cities around the world, with many more to be added to the list in the near future. Currently on the list are: Amsterdam, Bangkok, Barcelona, Berlin, Budapest, Dubai, Florence, Istanbul, Kuala Lumpur, Kyoto, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Milan, Munich, New York, Osaka, Paris, Prague, Rome, San Francisco, Sydney, Tokyo and Vienna.
Google Maps: how Live View works
How does Live View work? Thanks to the aforementioned augmented reality, by framing the route with the smartphone camera you will be able to identify landmarks directly on the road through a talking placeholder icon. In addition, there is also a distance indicator and arrows to know at any time the direction to take to reach the set destination.
The landmarks chosen by Google can be iconic and unmistakable places, such as the Pantheon in Rome. In their absence, AR will show easily recognizable places on the screen, such as parks and tourist attractions.
Google Maps: how to use Live View on foot or with location sharing
Live View can be launched from the Route tab, in all those sections that involve walking. For directions while driving or using public transportation, the app will continue to show the typical navigator interface we've come to know over time.
Once you've found the location shared by a friend through the dedicated Location Sharing tab, however, the app will display the route with all the directions needed to reach it and the distances to travel. Google's Live View feature in the Location Sharing version is already available in the Google Maps app on Pixel smartphones while it will soon be available on Android and iOS smartphones.