This new Google Maps feature will stop you from getting lost ever again

Live View expansion uses AR to keep you on track

Google Maps
(Image credit: Google)

Google Maps is now even better when it comes to helping you navigate, thanks to some useful updates to its Live View feature.

Launched as a beta back in 2019, Live View is a function of Google Maps that shows detailed walking directions on top of the view seen through your smartphone camera. Now Google has added a couple more features to Live View, making it easier to see information about local businesses, shops and restaurants.

Announced at Google’s I/O developer conferences earlier in May, the feature shows business names and information like their opening and closing times, in augmented reality.

Google reviews are also shown, helping you decide where to go. This could be particularly useful when navigating an unfamiliar city for the first time, with cafe and restaurant names, opening times and reviews appearing in the Live View environment. The feature also shows how busy businesses are at that moment, along with recent photos uploaded by visitors.

Additionally, the Live View feature of Google Maps has been updated to help you navigate complex junctions on foot. This means the app shows more precise walking directions, such as when you need to head a short way down a street before getting to a zebra crossing.

When travelling – something we can all look forward to doing again soon – the Live View function of Google Maps can now also show where you are in relation to important places, like your hotel, so you can find your way back more easily. Google says its more detailed street maps will come to 50 more cities by the end of 2021.

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Alistair Charlton

Alistair is a freelance automotive and technology journalist. He has bylines on esteemed sites such as the BBC, Forbes, TechRadar, and of best of all, T3, where he covers topics ranging from classic cars and men's lifestyle, to smart home technology, phones, electric cars, autonomy, Swiss watches, and much more besides. He is an experienced journalist, writing news, features, interviews and product reviews. If that didn't make him busy enough, he is also the co-host of the AutoChat podcast.