Live View is one of Google’s most promising augmented reality (AR) features and it will soon be faster to launch in Google Maps, while also adding nearby search.

It starts with the Google Map search bar at the top of the app adding a camera icon between the microphone and profile switcher. This immediately starts Live View with Google highlighting nearby landmarks off in the distance, while streets names are overlaid on the ground. 

A bottom sheet prompts you to “Find places near you,” specifically “Within a 5 min walk.” At the bottom is a carousel for common places like Restaurants, ATMs, and Shopping, as well as coffee shops, grocery stores, and transit stops. After making a selection, Google Lens will direct you to the nearest one with floating arrows.

Similarly, place cards note the name, Google Maps rating, and hours, while tapping opens the full listing. Google is launching “Search with Live View” in six cities over the “coming months”: Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, London, Tokyo, and Paris. 

  • Google Live View search
  • Google Live View search
  • Google Live View search
  • Google Live View search

Meanwhile, Google Maps is getting a “Neighborhood Vibe” feature that will highlight popular spots with photos and videos in the coming months on Android and iOS. When you search for a neighborhood, Google Maps will show the boundaries and use large circular pins that feature images that expand when tapped, while you can browse all of them by swiping left/right.

To determine the vibe of a neighborhood, we combine AI with local knowledge from Google Maps users who add more than 20 million contributions to the map each day — including reviews, photos and videos.

Another way to explore and browse is using Immersive View, which now has over 250 photorealistic aerial views of global landmarks. Google is combining this 3D imagery with weather, traffic, and busyness information. A slider at the bottom of the screen will let you see those conditions at different times of the day. This is launching in the coming months for five cities: Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, London, and Tokyo. 

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About the Author

Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: abner@9to5g.com