Alphabet’s Google has announced the launch of a beta of its augmented reality walking directions feature in Google Maps, which will be available on all iOS and Android devices with system-level support for AR. This will include iOS in ARKit-compatible devices and any Android smartphone that support Google ARcore, and if Street View is available for the user’s location. After it was revealed earlier this year, Google Maps’ augmented reality feature has been available in an early alpha mode to both Google Pixel owners as well as Google Maps Local Guides. Now, it will be deployed to all devices, subject to the availability of an update for users’ devices.
It works on a fairly basic system that includes the ability to merely tap on any location nearby in Maps, go to the ‘Directions’ options and then select navigation for ‘Walking,’ which will include the option of ‘Live View’ at the bottom of the screens. The Live View feature does not require the user to hold the phone up continuously while walking and will provide easy, fast, and useful directions with the help of arrows and big, readable street markers in the actual location where the user is standing. This will make getting directions in unfamiliar localities extremely simple, especially when traveling to new places.
Google Maps is also getting several other upgrades, such as a one-stop ‘Reservations’ options in Maps for the user’s saved flights, hotel stays, and more, which is also backed up offline. Additionally, a new redesigned Timeline, which is currently rolled out to only Android devices, will also be available to everyone in the next few weeks. The company has also announced that it will work to offset carbon emissions from delivering consumer hardware by next year and incorporate recycled plastic in all its products by the year 2022.