Google Maps AR navigation feature now available for some users

Google Will Soon Show Directions Via Yr Camera Like Informative ‘Pokémon GO

Although the Google Maps AR feature was announced halfway through 2018, it has not yet arrived on any consumer devices, but The Wall Street Journal has been able to test out an early version of it.

Integrating this with Google Maps allow for augmented reality (AR) additions like floating arrows pointing you to the direction you need to head to. You can simply hold your phone up and Google Maps will give you actual directions in the real world, and the idea is pretty cool for sure.

That said, it looks like it won't be taking over as the standard method of using Google Maps. In this new experience, you will have live camera view covering most of the screen with an overlay of animated indicators for directions. The AR system asks the user to move his/her phone around to determine the exact location. Even though Google Maps and other navigation apps make it incredibly easy to get somewhere, it's still incredibly hard to find out exactly where you are going, especially in new cities.

He described how the feature worked - the app picks up a person's location via Global Positioning System (GPS), and then uses Street View data to narrow it down to the exact location.

Pierce notes that the interface he previewed could change, and that Google isn't saying when the feature will roll out to users, just that it'll be available to "a few Local Guides" soon, and "will come to everyone only when the company is satisfied that it's ready".

The WSJ got access to a phone from Google with Google Maps AR on it for testing, putting into place a lot of what we already know about the system. This feature is also claimed to help users save the battery. In an article, "It's the Real World-With Google Maps Layered on Top", he has described how the feature works.

The feature isn't meant to be used for lengthy periods.

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