Google at I/O 2021 touted that it’s the only mapping platform with AR navigation. Building on that lead, Google Live View can soon be accessed without needing to get directions and just be used to explore the world with augmented reality. 

Live View will show floating pins over locations that identify what type of store or restaurant a place is. This description is followed by whether it’s open and when it closes. It can be accessed through a new “Live” FAB above the existing ones for location and navigation. Google imagines it to be especially useful when traveling.

If you’re exploring a new neighborhood, you’ll be able to access Live View instantly — right from the map — and see helpful details about the shops and restaurants around you, like how busy they are, recent reviews and photos. 

Meanwhile, there will be more prominent virtual street markers to navigate complex intersections, while landmarks will also be surfaced to aid navigation.

We’ll also display helpful new street signs for complex intersections so you know exactly what road you’re on and which way to go. And if you’re traveling, Live View will tell you where you are in relation to places like your hotel — so you can always find your way back to home base.

These Live View explore capabilities are rolling out globally on Google Maps for Android and iOS in the coming months. It joins the indoor AR directions that Google announced last month and are beginning to launch.

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Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: