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Home / Tips and Tricks / How to Use Your Phone’s Camera as an Augmented Reality Finder to Find Places on Google Maps «Android :: Gadget Hacks

How to Use Your Phone’s Camera as an Augmented Reality Finder to Find Places on Google Maps «Android :: Gadget Hacks



In addition to the launch of Android 11, Google Live View has added a new feature, Augmented Reality mode for navigating Google Maps, which you can use to make friends in AR. But even if you’re not trying to hang out with someone, you can just access AR mode and get your bearings any Place.

Based on the support documentation for Google Maps Live View, this feature is currently only available on Android devices. However, we would expect iOS to get this option at some point. In the meantime, there is an alternate method to access this AR feature at the end of this article.

Step 1
: update the app

Although this feature doesn’t seem to depend on a specific version of Google Maps, look for an update. You don’t have to be in beta, but why not live dangerously?

Step 2: Find a location and go to live view

Use the search bar to find your destination or tap a nearby location from your map view. Supported devices have a Live View symbol (position pin in a field in brackets) on the right-hand side directly above the button for location centering. Tap this icon to go to camera view and scan your surroundings according to the on-screen instructions.

Step 3: improve the location with Live View

Once the app has identified your location, AR overlays will guide you to your destination. You will see the address and distance above an AR waypoint. You can then press “Start” to start AR navigation to the location. (In this example, I think I can drive instead.)

Alternative method: Get directions (Android & iOS)

If you are using a phone that does not display the Live View icon in the map view, you must switch to Navigation mode to access the feature.

Select your destination and tap the “Directions” button. This will take you to the traditional navigation setup screen. Tap on the Directions option where you will find Live View. This will take you to step 4, except that instead of the final destination, you’ll see AR prompts for directions about your location.

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Cover image and screenshots by Tommy Palladino / Gadget Hacks

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