Google Maps AR navigation feature now available for some users

Google Maps Starts Testing AR-Powered Navigation

Google Maps AR navigation is currently being trialed by select users

The app works quite simple - when you start it, Google wants you to look around to recognize the buildings around you and from then on you just follow the arrows. On top of that, your battery would drain really fast, so it's probably best to use the AR navigation feature in shorter intervals. It's like Street View for navigation. The company originally introduced the AR navigation feature at a developers conference a year ago.

At last year's Google I/O conference, there was much talk about augmented reality (AR) enhancements that would be coming to the huge popular Google Maps navigation app.

Google gave The Wall Street Journal early access access to the AR mode feature, and the publication took it for a spin to test out its capabilities.

Back at Google I/O this past May, one of the most intriguing announcements was a teaser of AR turn-by-turn navigation in Google Maps for more accurate results when walking.

That said, it looks like it won't be taking over as the standard method of using Google Maps. Go to 9:41 in the video below to see the feature in action. WSJ got to preview the new experience, and according to the publication, you can simply open up Maps, hit the Start AR button, and Google Maps will guide you using the new system.

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No dates have been set for making it widely available to Map users. After it has done this, it then creates directions for the user based on the location. "For You" tab helps users access new places, popular locations, personal recommendations, and trending now places in and around your neighbourhood.

Google is rolling out a tool called "Your Match", which uses machine learning to determine your location and interests, serving up targeted suggestions for new businesses opening up in your area and more.

The WSJ's David Pierce notes that the feature will likely end up on the AR glasses that many companies are now either working on or selling.

Google didn't announce when the Google Maps AR navigation feature will be downloadable for everyone, however, it will be interesting to see how it will elevate people's routes in the near future.

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