It’s here! - or it’s on its way at least..
Yesterday, Google announced that it’s launching a beta of its Google Maps AR directions feature ‘Live View’ for Android and iOS.
Live View is an augmented reality feature for walking directions that places digital arrows and directions on top of the real world. So, if you’re in an unfamiliar territory trying to navigate to a nearby coffee shop, just tap the place in Google Maps and choose “walking directions”. Next, tap the “Start AR” button and lift your phone up. Google Maps will now recognize where you are and point you in the right direction with arrows on the screen.
As Live View uses Street View imagery to determine your location, the feature only works in areas with Street View coverage. The Live View feature is not designed with the idea that you’ll walk around with your phone in front of you constantly when navigating. It’s designed to allow you to quickly and effortlessly orientate yourself by showing you arrows, directions, and street markers on the real world. This is especially useful in situations where the gps signals get blocked by or bounce off buildings and your phone is struggling to determine your exact position.
The Live View feature has been available in an early alpha mode to Google Pixel users and Google Maps Local Guides, but now the feature is rolling out to everyone. Live View is available on all Android and iOS devices that support ARCore and ARKit. If you have an ARCore supported device, but don’t have the feature yet, you might just have to be patient and wait for the update to reach your region (it might take a couple of weeks to roll out Live View worldwide).
If you want to know more about AR in Google Maps and Visual Positioning, don’t miss our blog “Making Google Maps More Accurate with Augmented Reality”.