Google Maps is getting a big update in the near future that’ll allow users to see not only where a restaurant or scenic landmark is on the map but to view the place in full 3D right on their smartphone. Google’s presentation showed how easy the new immersive mode can make it to properly scope out a restaurant before driving all the way there, and it looks like it’s a lot more effective than relying on just user-submitted photos.
The best part is that you won’t even need one of the best Android smartphones to utilize this powerful feature, thanks to Google Cloud immersive stream. That means what you’re seeing is being rendered in the cloud rather than on your smartphone.
Google will be rolling out this new feature later this year to Los Angeles, London, New York, San Francisco, and Tokyo. More locations are planned for the future and we expect those will be announced as they become available. Google announced this and another important new Google Maps feature at Google I/O 2022.
That second announcement is the wider availability of efficient routes, which you’ll see in the photo below. Efficient routes were already available in the U.S. and Canada, but Google is rolling it out to more locations — like Europe — and to more people to help folks save money (and the environment) by taking the route that uses the least gas. Normally, that means avoiding traffic and trying to stay on routes that have fewer stops and more fuel-efficient speed limits.
Lastly is the addition of Google Maps Live View technology, which can make looking for seats at a stadium or finding the restroom in a store a bit easier. Live View lets users hold their smartphones up to see the world through the camera of their smartphones, with the smartphone adding helpful virtual hints on the screen like arrows or text.
Google added this new development tool to the ARCore Geospatial API and will allow more developers to integrate quality AR experiences into their apps. ARCore works on all modern Android phones so, once again, you won’t need just a powerful device to get the experience. All in all, these features add up to a more helpful Google Maps for all.