Google Maps shows us why its new immersive views are better

Google Search updates from the Fall 2022 event
(Image credit: Google)

What you need to know

  • Google is launching Immersive View today for aerial views of 250 landmarks across the world.
  • Live View lets users find the place they're looking for more quickly by using their smartphone's camera.
  • Check a neighborhood's vibe by searching for an area and getting a deep dive on what's highest-rated.

If you're a Google Maps user — and, let's face it, most of us are — you're about to get a brand-new way to look at the streets and landmarks around some of the most popular cities in the world. The new collection of features includes Immersive View, Live View, neighborhood vibe, and an expansion of the eco-friendly routes feature that was already available in some areas.

Google originally announced Immersive View back at Google I/O 2022 alongside its eco-friendly routes feature, and both of those features are now live in many major parts of the world. Immersive View now provides aerial views of 250 landmarks, while the indoor view will soon launch in five total cities — San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, London, and Tokyo — giving users a brand new way to look at everything from the most popular landmarks to the insides of restaurants before you physically visit them on all of the best Android phones.

Google says Immersive View can help you scout out a location to find the best seats before you arrive or to just better plan your day and the sites you'll be able to see. In addition to that, Immersive View now includes a handy timeline that predicts traffic based on machine learning models, letting you scrub through a virtual version of the place you're looking to visit to see what day and time would be the least busy to visit.

When you actually get to where you plan to go and can't seem to find it, Google's new Live View will let you use your camera to make that task easier. Google Maps will use your phone's camera and overlay location-accurate search listings right on the camera's feed on your phone's screen, making it impossible to miss exactly what you're looking for, even in a confusing city.

And, lastly, is the neighborhood vibe check. Google is improving Maps' search abilities with more granular search options to find the right place you want to go to. If you're looking for a party atmosphere or something a bit more low-key, you can just type those words into the search box and Google will show you the neighborhoods and businesses that fit that vibe. That feature is a little further out, however, and is planning to roll out globally in "the coming months" on Android and iOS.

Nicholas Sutrich
Senior Content Producer — Smartphones & VR
Nick started with DOS and NES and uses those fond memories of floppy disks and cartridges to fuel his opinions on modern tech. Whether it's VR, smart home gadgets, or something else that beeps and boops, he's been writing about it since 2011. Reach him on Twitter or Instagram @Gwanatu