After the feature was introduced in 2018, starting this Thursday, August 8, Google Maps is more intuitive for walking users. But how is this guaranteed? The system shows you which way to go through arrows and directions that appear in the “real world” that the user sees on the phone screen.
Using the smartphone's rear camera as a sensor, the augmented reality (RA) system provides a more intuitive way to help people better determine which direction to go. For this, Live View shows digital elements overlaid on the real space that the rear camera is capturing.
But Google gives you the option to choose. The technology will work whenever you select "Live View" or start augmented reality that appears at the bottom of the screen. Once the system is activated, the user will need to point the camera at certain specific points so that the app can identify the surroundings.
When you choose to use this system, you will find a split display with real images of the surrounding space and a virtual version of the map that Google Maps presents when we ask for directions. Then, to guide the user, dynamic arrows will appear on the screen, pointing specifically to the streets to follow to reach the destination. When intersecting corners, floating blocks may also appear with additional information about the distance to turn again, for example.
Not to overdo data and battery consumption, the app returns to the traditional view of Google Maps when the user drops the phone out of line of sight.
This feature comes to simplify city walks in unfamiliar spaces. The new beta feature is available for a wide range of devices, from Android phones supporting ARCore to ARKit-compatible iPhones. In this list Google specifies the models that support this feature.
The technology finally comes to the application, after several years of work by the Google team working to solve what many users considered a problem.
By 11:00 on Thursday, it could still be difficult to understand which direction we should go in places we didn't know, even with the Google Maps virtual map. But now there's no way to go wrong, since the arrows and blocks appear overlapping over the real world.
Before reaching the app, the system was tested by local Google Maps guides and Pixel smartphone users at an early stage.