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In brief: Have you found yourself following walking directions in Google Maps only to discover that it can be hard to get around while constantly adjusting the phone to show the correct orientation? Now Google is rolling an augmented reality feature that should offer better, real time directions by using your smartphone camera.
Google has been working to make travel easier with various experiments, the most recent being AR walking directions, an alpha feature that has been limited to the company's Pixel devices for months. Today, Google says that experience has graduated to beta status and is expanding to other Android devices and iPhone as well.
The feature is called "Live View" and allows you to use the Google Maps app and your smartphone camera to see real-time guidance through overlays that show how far to walk in a certain direction, where to turn next, and other general cues that can help you get from one place to another.
If you have an Android device that supports ARCore or an iOS device that supports ARKit (iPhone 6S/SE or newer), you'll be able to use Live View wherever there's a "Street View" available inside the Google Maps app. Also, keep in mind that these things typically roll out in stages, so it might take a couple of weeks before you'll get the update on your phone or tablet.
The nice thing about the new feature is the ability to simply tap any nearby location in Maps, then tap 'Directions' and finally choosing Live View from the Walking Section, which should appear at the bottom of the screen. It's also worth noting that Live View is designed for quick glances, so you won't have to hold your phone up the entire time you're trying to get from point A to point B.
There are other upgrades in the latest version of Google Maps such as a "Reservations" tab, where you can see your bookings and a timeline feature that allows you to record the places you visit. The latter is limited to Android devices for now, but the former is universal and can also be accessed when not connected to the Internet.