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Home / Tips and Tricks / How to Use Augmented Reality to Find Your Friends on Google Maps «Android :: Gadget Hacks

How to Use Augmented Reality to Find Your Friends on Google Maps «Android :: Gadget Hacks



In addition to the launch of Android 11, Google Pixel has made several exclusive features available to Pixel users, including app suggestions on the home screen. Another exclusive feature is Live View, the augmented reality navigation feature in Google Maps, and one of the more useful implementations of AR for the average consumer.

Now Pixel users can quickly see their friends’ location in augmented reality. So when you have a Pixel in hand, read on to try out this exclusive feature. If you have another device that supports Google Maps Live View, skip to step 4 for a lesser-known alternative to the exclusive Pixel feature.

Step 1
: Update to Android 11

One of the main selling points of the Pixel is that Android updates come for them first. If you haven’t updated your device yet, look for “System Update” in Settings and tap the “Check for Updates” button.

If that doesn’t work, you can sign up for the Android Beta for Pixel, which is now the official version of Android 11.

Step 2: update the app

Visit the Play Store to update your Maps app. You don’t have to be in the beta version. That’s how I roll.

  • Install App Full Name: Android (Free) | iOS (free)

Step 3: Tap a friend’s location

This feature only works if your friends share their location with you. To do this, tap on your profile icon, select “Location sharing” and follow the instructions from there.

When your friends have shared their location with you, tap the appropriate icon in the map view to bring up the available options.

Step 4: Go to the live view

Pixel owners will find a Live View icon in the lower right corner of the map view. Tap it to bring up the camera view, where the app will ask you to scan your surroundings.

Once the app has identified your location, AR overlays will guide you to your comrade’s location. Your whereabouts are indicated with an AR waypoint that includes the profile photo. You can then press “Start” to start AR navigation to your location.

Alternative method: get directions (Android and iOS)

For all other Android devices that support ARCore, as well as ARKit-compatible iPhones, you can still find your friends. It just takes a few additional steps.

On the shared location screen in step 2, tap the Get Directions button. This will take you to the traditional navigation setup screen. Tap the Directions option and then select the Live View icon. This will take you to step 3, with the exception that it won’t personalize your friend’s location. Instead, the approximate address is shown.

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Cover image and screenshots by Tommy Palladino / Gadget Hacks

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