Google Maps Starts Testing AR-Powered Navigation

  • Google Maps Starts Testing AR-Powered Navigation

Google Maps Starts Testing AR-Powered Navigation

When you search for a place in Google Maps, along with regular "Directions" button, you will have the new "Start AR" button to access the new experience.

Author David Pierce states that Google has only made the feature available to some users for testing at the moment and expects a wider release "later", as some aspects of the user interface still need refinement.

Google introduced a new augmented reality (AR) mode for Maps at I/O 2018 and it was one of the biggest crowd-pleasers at the keynote a year ago.

In this case, The Wall Street Journal was given early access to a test build, which uses a combination of your phone's current location (pinpointed via GPS) and your smartphone's camera to get a "live view" of the environment around you.

"While it isn't likely to be your primary turn-by-turn option, it's a huge step in the right direction for Google Maps", Pierce said. The key point here is that, using AR, it will better know which way you are looking, without having to rely on the often hit and miss compass. To use it, you lift the phone in front of your eyes and the software gives you directions via arrows which show where you need to go.

Something to look forward to: Have you ever found yourself frustrated with Google Maps, walking the wrong way when the blue dot thinks you're somewhere else? To ensure it doesn't consume your battery and data allowance-and for safety reasons-users will be reminded to lower their phone if it's been held up too long. You'll get real-time views with the AR navigation feature, which will make it easier if you're approaching a confusing intersection or a complex cluster of landmarks. Google also cautions that the feature is to be used for directions while walking and not to be used while driving, due to obvious distractions.