google maps AR
Photo:ústria 4.0 Brasil

The new version of Google Maps that helps pedestrians has been researched for a long time. The new function helps them with the so-called “augmented reality.” The function is now ready, so the company has started the updates. 

Last year’s conference of Google came up with a completely new Maps version in which users could navigate themselves with the help of augmented reality (AR). Since then, the function has improved a lot, and now, it is high time to make it available step by step. 

The innovation is the “Live View” function that leads the way by arrows, showing the correct directions with a real view of what the users see in front of them. So, it is still the same application used for navigation but in a completely new fashion, with the view of real-life, and directions provided by the programme contributing at the same time. 

Google has not declared where its innovation is going to be available exactly, but based on its announcement on 8th August, we Hungarians will also have access to it. Originally, Live View could only be used on “Local Guide” devices and Pixel phones for testing. From now on, it is available on android devices supporting ARCore and iPhones supporting ARKit, but only in beta version. You can see the list of devices where it is available here.  

Live View can help a lot during sightseeing walking tours (it does not work in vehicles at all) because it shows users anything they could possibly need – e.g. monuments, sights, restaurants, cafes, museums, etc. Travellers can easily get lost in big foreign cities if they do not know the right directions exactly. The innovation of Google helps them recognise their environment and shows them which way to go to reach their intended destination. Besides, the new function will not only be available in big cities, but

everywhere where street view is attainable.

Using the function is very easy. After opening the app, users type in the name of their destination and tap the icon of “walk.” Then they tap the Live View button and focus the camera of the device on the surrounding buildings. After Maps identifies our position, arrows and signs appear on the view of the camera. In case navigation is already on, we only need to tap Live View in the bottom-left corner.  

Until the publication of this article, this function has not yet been made available, but other Hungarian users may already be able to use it.



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