Google Maps’ ‘Live View’ enables users to travel with aid of AR

Google announces that ‘Live View’, a feature in Google Maps that uses augmented reality (AR) to show you which way to walk using arrows and directions placed in the real world, is becoming available as a beta on a much wider range of devices.

In a nutshell, users can do the following once the feature rolls out:

  • Searching for a nearby location you want to walk to, or tapping on it on the map.
  • Tap on the blue directions button near the bottom of the screen.
  • Tap for walking directions near the top of the screen (if it doesn’t already show you these).
  • Tap ‘Live View’ near the bottom of the screen, and you’ll be guided through using the feature.

Get around confidently

There’s nothing like exploring a city on foot–it’s a great way to take in the sights and sounds of a new place. But it can be hard to know exactly which direction to go. With a feature called Live View, you can use augmented reality (AR) to better see which way to walk. Arrows and directions are placed in the real world to guide your way. We’ve tested Live View with the Local Guides and Pixel community over the past few months, and are now expanding the beta to Android and iOS devices that support ARCore and ARKit starting this week.

Not only does Google Maps help you navigate, explore, and get things done at home, but it’s also a powerful travel companion. After you’ve booked your trip, these new tools will simplify every step of your trip once you’ve touched down–from getting around a new city to reliving every moment once you’re home.

Get organized

Now, you can use Google Maps to see all of your flight and hotel reservations in one place–a lifesaver when you’re checking in at the airport or en route to the next hotel in your destination. Simply tap on the three grey lines at the top left corner of your screen, and then on “Your Places”. Then, hit the “Reservations” tab where you’ll see a list of your upcoming trips. Selecting your trip will instantly pull up your reservations, and you can even access them if you’re offline, so no need to worry if you’re off the grid with no service or travelling internationally without a data plan.

Find amazing local food

Real talk: Food is one of the main highlights of any vacation. With Google Maps, you can quickly find restaurants tailored to your tastes with Your Match, see how long the wait is, and even book a reservation without ever leaving the app (and no, we’re not talking about delicious dinner apps). With the popular dishes feature, you can quickly find out what the must-try items on the menu are.

Soak in the memories and share them with friends

The best part about any life-changing trip is reliving the memories, and sharing them with loved ones. If you’ve chosen to turn your Location History setting on, you can now use the updated version of Timeline to easily remember that amazing hole-in-the-wall restaurant you dined at or the cute vintage shop you popped into. You’ll also be able to see all of the places you went to in a country or a city and even drill down to the categories of places you visited–including restaurants, shops, attractions, hotels and airports. So the next time someone asks you for trip recommendations, you can easily export the places you loved to a list, make notes about exactly what you liked (like the great picnic spot by the Louvre), and share that list with friends and family.

You can expect to see flight and hotel reservations, Live View (in countries where Street View is available), and the new Timeline on your phones in the coming weeks. Reservations and Live View are coming to Android and iOS, and the new Timeline is available on Android.

To date, the feature has only been available to Google Maps Local Guides and Google Pixel users for initial testing.

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