he Augmented Reality feature within Google Maps, displays digital arrows, markers and pins, through a smartphone camera as you walk. The feature, which Google Maps named, Live View, has been around since August 2019, and is a useful tool when you’re trying to get oriented. 

Now, Google is expanding its features within the Live View, the Augmented Reality mode of Google Maps which lets you see directions as visual overlays over the real world through your smartphone camera as information is captured through your mobile camera’s viewfinder. 

Perhaps the most impressive addition to the Live View, is the ability to see visual cues which correspond to landmarks in your field of view. Information will be displayed on how far away the notable landmark is as well as the option to select directions to walk there. 

Image Credit: Google

Product Manager on the Google Maps team, Mirko Ranieri, explains: 

“These landmarks can include iconic places, like the Empire State Building in New York and the Pantheon in Rome, and easily recognizable places, like local parks and tourist attractions,” 

The announcement came late last week which also detailed that iPhone and Android users will "soon" get to experience an updated Live View when location sharing. Google’s own smartphone, Pixel, was upgraded last month with the new Live View features.

When users now open the Live View in the Google Maps App, a friend can share their location with a pin, your smartphone will display directions and arrows which will tell the user exactly where to go. The feature works optimally once you’re in the vicinity and have the smartphone held out in front while walking. Take the guesswork out of finding your friends and simply select the Live View mode and walk straight there. 

Image Credit: Google

Another neat feature coming to Live View is the ‘Transit’ option, where users can easily understand where they’re oriented when leaving a train or subway station and find themselves at a busy and potentially confusing intersection.

Oct 6, 2020
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