Google Maps is rolling out a new feature called Live View. Google Maps’ Live View uses augmented reality (AR) to display virtual signposts and directions in the real world. Which should make it easier for you to get from A to B without getting lost.
Live View, then called AR walking directions, was first announced at Google IO 2018. It then debuted on Google’s Pixel phones, with Local Guides helping to ready the feature for a wider audience. And now it’s being made available on more smartphones.
How to Use Google Maps Live View
Google announced that Live View is now in beta (and therefore available to a lot more people) in a post on The Keyword. It’s being rolled out as part of a wider Google Maps update, but is the most exciting (and innovative) new feature by some way.
After testing Live View “with the Local Guides and Pixel community over the past few months,” Google is now “expanding the beta to Android and iOS devices that support ARCore and ARKit”. Which should apply to most newish smartphones.
We’re giving the ?emoji new meaning.
See the way with #LiveView, directions placed right on top of your world to make sure you never miss a turn again. Rolling out starting today on compatible iOS and Android devices. pic.twitter.com/7ydbShMDRb
— Google Maps (@googlemaps) August 8, 2019
In a nutshell, Live View displays virtual signs in the real world. So, you hold your phone in the air, and Google Maps will direct you to your destination using signs hanging in mid-air. This only works while walking for obvious reasons.
To use Live View, just open Google Maps, type in your destination, and tap on the blue Directions icon. Then indicate that you plan to walk. If your phone supports AR you should see a Start AR icon at the bottom of the screen. Tap that to initiate Live View.
Other Augmented Reality Apps Worth Trying
Google Maps is a useful app that many of us couldn’t live without. And Live View is another useful addition. Yes, you may look a little silly holding your phone in front of you to follow directions, but if it stops you getting lost it’s well worth it, right?
Even if Google Maps’ Live View doesn’t float your boat, there are other augmented reality apps worth checking out. Here is our pick of futuristic AR apps for your smartphone, and here are the best augmented reality games for Android and iOS.
Image Credit: Simon Rowe/Flickr