Google Maps expands Live View AR walking directions beta, try it today
Google has announced that it’s expanding testing for the Live View feature. Starting this week, it’ll bring the beta feature to Android devices supporting Google’s ARCore and iOS devices via Apple’s ARKit frameworks.
Live View, which was initially tested on Pixel phones, allows users to see augmented-reality overlays in Google Maps while navigating on-foot. Simply hold up your phone and the app will place arrows and other instructions in your camera viewfinder, giving you a better idea of where to go.
The Mountain View company also disappointed some users when it confirmed that it would be killing its Trips app. Fortunately, the company has now moved to bring a few travel-related features to Google Maps.
All you need to do is hit the hamburger menu in the search bar then tap Your Places > Reservations to view your travel details. Select your desired trip and you’ll find the relevant hotel and flight reservations. Google adds that these details are accessible while offline too. That’s a big plus if you don’t have a mobile data plan or Wi-Fi access while traveling abroad.
You can check out the latest version of the app via the button below.
Previous Google Maps updates
Live speedometer hits the app
June 5, 2019: Google has implemented a speedometer feature in Google Maps, although it isn’t enabled by default. The feature is accessible via Settings > Navigation settings > Speedometer.
Still not seeing the feature? Well, it’s rolling out worldwide in a phased manner, so you might want to hold out a little longer.
Learn a restaurant’s most popular dish
May 30, 2019: Google Maps is launching a new tool to find a restaurant’s most popular dish. Maps will now use machine learning to determine from those photos and reviews which dishes are the most popular at that restaurant, making it easier for diners to find the “best of the best” at that establishment.
Additionally, Maps will translate reviews written in a foreign language, an essential tool for the traveling diner. Can’t read the menu? The new features within Google Lens will help you out there, too.
Pixel phones now have AR navigation
May 7, 2019: Google Maps AR navigation allows you to navigate on-foot by holding your phone up and using the rear camera, with arrows and other information overlaid into the viewfinder. This way, you don’t have to worry if the blue dot (representing you) is heading in the right direction when using Maps the traditional way.
The feature is currently only live for Pixel users using walking navigation in San Francisco, Paris, and London. It will likely come to additional major cities across the globe in due time.
Maps shows if a nearby EV charging station is occupied
April 23, 2019: Google has announced that you can use Google Maps to check real-time availability of charging station ports in the U.S. and U.K. In other words, you don’t have to physically go to a station to see if there are any free ports.
“Simply search for ‘ev charging stations’ to see up to date information from networks like Chargemaster, EVgo, SemaConnect and soon, Chargepoint,” Google wrote in a blog post announcing the feature.
Lime scooter and bike rental info in 80 cities
March 4, 2019: Google Maps will now show Lime scooter and bike rental information. Notifications will conveniently tell you if a Lime vehicle is available, how long it’ll take to walk to the vehicle, an estimate of how much your ride could cost, along with your total journey time and ETA.
You can see a full list of all the Lime Google Maps cities here.
October 4, 2018: Google announced that it’s bringing four new features to Google Maps, all centered on the idea of making your work commute more efficient, easier, and best of all — more fun!
The four new features are a new commute tab, mixed-mode commutes for different transport options on a single trip, detailed public transit info, and faster access to music with Spotify and Google Play Music integration.
New “For You” tab introduced to Google Maps
June 26, 2018: Google is updating Maps with a couple of new features that it hopes will encourage users to get out of the house and try new things. The first is an entirely new tab within the Google Maps app called “For You.” Here, users will be shown recommendations of places and businesses in their area, especially those that are brand new or are trending based on Google’s data. While the new tab in itself is a nice new feature if you’re out of ideas for what to do one evening, Google has gone a step further and applied its machine learning smarts with a complimentary feature called “Your Match.” Your Match gives users a percentage rating against For You recommendations based on their own personal data and what Google knows about the locations in your area.