Google Maps on Android and iPhone has received its greatest feature in years

Google Maps has come a long way since its release well over a decade ago – the American tech giant has consistently improved the client with new improvements and functionality.

During its I/O developer conference back in May, Google announced it was bringing an augmented reality (AR) feature to Maps to make navigation even easier for users.

Released in beta at the time for Pixel phones, the feature harnesses a device’s camera in order to scan its surroundings.

When activated, the feature will split the app into two segments – a portion at the bottom will show a traditional map view while the rest will exhibit the camera’s field of view.

Google Maps will then harness AR to overlay directions over the sensor’s feed.

The feature means users will no longer have to struggle with figuring out their orientation before they start navigating to a destination.

It is worth noting the Google Maps’ AR feature is only available to fans moving around on foot.

While the feature had initially been limited to Pixel phones, Google has now announced the AR tool is available in beta for iOS and more Android devices.

Making the announcement, Google said: “There’s nothing like exploring a city on foot–it’s a great way to take in the sights and sounds of a new place.

“But it can be hard to know exactly which direction to go. With a beta feature called Live View, you can use augmented reality to better see which way to walk. Arrows and directions are placed in the real world to guide your way.

“We’ve tested Live View with the Local Guides and Pixel community over the past few months, and are now expanding the beta to Android and iOS devices that support ARCore and ARKit starting this week.”

Harnessing the new functionality is simple – when a user attempts to navigate directions on foot, they will be presented with a prompt asking them to try AR next to the traditional navigate button. has used the Google Maps AR mode with regularity since its debut on Pixel phones – overall we are incredible impressed with its accuracy.

While its functionality works well in its current beta form, it is currently unclear when Google Maps AR will arrive in a final capacity.

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