Google may seem to be losing interest in its virtual reality (VR) ventures such as Daydream View but on the augmented reality (AR) the company is still pressing forward with gusto. Having released an AR feature for Google Maps earlier this year to Google Maps Local Guides and Google Pixel users, the company has today begun a wider rollout of Live View.
Currently still in beta, the feature to compatible iOS and Android devices which support ARKit and ARCore respectively. While the launch happens today, you may not be able to update your device just yet, as it may take Google several days or weeks to get to your region.
The whole purpose of the AR option is to make navigation using the highly popular Google Maps even easier and straight forward. All you need to do is tap on a location in the app, hit the Directions button then select the Walking option. After that, you should find the option to ‘Live View’ those directions towards the bottom of the screen. With Live View enabled you’ll get some gigantic handy arrows appear in the middle of the street (or wherever you are) telling you the right direction to head.
Obviously, this sort of feature isn’t supposed to make you continually hold your phone up and look like a lost kitten. You can simply bring it up when required to let you know you’ve gone the wrong way – or going the right way. It’s just one of a number of updates Google has added to the app, including being able to see all of your flight and hotel reservations in one place, or finding a nice restaurant and booking a reservation all without leaving the app.
While AR might be seen as the little brother to VR, it’s often thought of as having the greatest potential in the long run. Apart from apps like Google Maps, a lot of the AR content consumers are coming across at the moment are videogames such as Harry Potter: Wizards Unite and Minecraft Earth. VRFocus will continue its coverage of AR, reporting back with the latest updates.