What you need to know
- Google is integrating and expanding the use of AI in Maps.
- Search with Live View is being renamed to 'Lens in Maps' which makes it easy to identify locations around you.
- Announced at I/O 2023, Immersive View for routes is now rolling out to select cities across the world.
- Many of these new features are coming to both iOS and Android starting "this week."
If it weren't obvious by now, Google is working on more and more ways to infuse AI with its various apps and services. The latest of which comes to Google Maps, as the company has announced several major changes that will begin rolling out this week.
The first of which is the improved "Lens in Maps" feature, which was formerly known as "Search with Live View." Essentially, this combines AI with augmented reality to quickly and easily identify locations around you. Besides the name change, Google also announced that the feature will soon be available in "more than 50 new cities."
Google is also making some slight tweaks to the way that buildings and landmarks appear around you, along with the overall interface when traveling. The colors used in Maps are being updated, and "lane details" are also being upgraded so you can get a better grip on where your next turn is. This change is expected to roll out "in the coming months," and will be available across 12 different countries.
It's one thing to search for something using the Google app or your browser and try to find results about a location. But what if you know what you're looking for but don't know anything about it other than maybe a mural on the side of a building?
An upcoming update hopes to make your life a bit easier, as you can search for specific things and will get "photo-first results." Then, instead of just seeing a list of random locations, you'll be able to actually see pictures that have been shared by the Google Maps community.
Those who rely on Maps to try and find something to do are also in store for a helpful improvement. All you'll need to do is search for "things to do," and you'll be presented with a list of different suggestions. From there, you can select the different events or locations and then save them to a list.
Speaking of trying to find things to do, Immersive View for routes was another feature announced at I/O 2023. This essentially lets you plan your trip ahead of time, so you will be better acclimated to the landmarks and surroundings before you go. Google states that this feature is coming to even more cities, such as Amsterdam, Las Vegas, New York, Seattle, and more.
Rounding out the pack of new Google Maps updates is something for those who are frustrated when trying to find an EV charger. Maps will soon provide more information about charging stations, including whether the chargers on location will even work with your car. Plus, Google is updating its Places API for developers, making it so that "companies can show real-time EV charging station information."
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Andrew Myrick is a Senior Editor at Android Central. He enjoys everything to do with technology, including tablets, smartphones, and everything in between. Perhaps his favorite past-time is collecting different headphones, even if they all end up in the same drawer.