Google Maps AR Navigation Rolls Out On iOS & Android Devices

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Navigate your way through unfamiliar locations using AR overlays.

Live View, a new navigation feature that adds AR overlays to the Google Maps experience, has officially begun rolling out on iOS and a wider variety of Android devices.

Originally announced over a year ago during the 2018 Google I/O conference, Live View launched as a closed beta in February before becoming available on Google Pixel phones at Google I/O 2019 this past May.

Google Maps AR Navigation Rolls Out On iOS & Android Devices 1
Image Credit: The Wall Street Journal

Harnessing the power of AR and GPS technology, Live View ditches Google’s clunky, often unreliable ‘compass’ system in favor of a new tracking system that utilizes Google Street View to provide you with more accurate directions. 

Referred to as VPS (Visual Positioning System), this new system uses GPS to locate a rough position of your phone. Hold up your smartphone, aim its camera at the real world, and Google Maps will cross-references that image with the visual data captured as part of its Google Street View program. This data is then translated in real-time as augmented reality arrows and directions layered directly over the real-world environment, providing you with accurate guidance to the location of your choosing. 

Google Maps AR Navigation Rolls Out On iOS & Android Devices 2
Image Credit: Google Inc.

This new AR functionality launches alongside a variety of fresh updates to Google Maps, including a new “Reservation” tab to help you keep track of flight and hotel reservations, even when you’re offline. Additional improvements to food curation now allows Google Maps to recommend potential dining options based on your past visits, as well as determine wait times and book reservations. There’s also the new “Timeline” feature, which organizes past destinations into various categories—such as location and type of destination—to better help you keep track of your favorite spots.

Google Maps AR Navigation Rolls Out On iOS & Android Devices 3
Image Credit: Google Inc.

Google Live View and Reservations will be rolling out to ARkit (iOS) and ARCore (Android)-compatible smartphone devices over the coming weeks, so don’t freak out if you don’t see it on your app just yet. Timeline is now available on compatible Android devices.

One question, however, remains unanswered: where is our adorable fox tour guide!?

Featured Image Credit: Google Inc.





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