Google Maps is harnessing the power of augmented reality to make sure users can always find their way.
At its 2018 I/O conference, Google showcased the app's new feature, highlighting how it can be a big improvement over the current navigation guide.
Google Maps And Its AR Future
On the stage, Google vice president Aparna Chennapragada explained how the app can be unreliable at times, where users end up taking a long time to figure out which direction they have to go.
"We've all been there," she said. "So we asked ourselves, what if the camera can help us here?"
The new feature is simple. It basically takes the camera's view and overlays AR directions on it to help users know how to get to their destination.
What's more, Google Maps can identify nearby places and provide details about them. There are animated animal guides in store too. One example that Google demonstrated is a virtual fox that playfully jumps around and shows the users which way to go.
Social And Recommendation Features
In addition to the AR directions, Google Maps is also getting beefier with new social and recommendation features.
First off, there's this tab called "For You." When opened, the app will display a feed full of recommendations. Google says that it's implementing a "match" system, a number that tells users how likely they are going to enjoy a place. The value is based on what it knows about a business and users' preferences, history, and past ratings for other venues.
Coming soon, we’re adding a new tab to @googlemaps called "For you." Designed to tell you what you need to know about the neighborhoods you care about, see new places that are opening or whats trending, personal recommendations and more. #io18 pic.twitter.com/CtqQsWFyot — Google (@Google) May 8, 2018
Now the app is getting social features that let users add places to a shortlist that they can share with friends and family. They can then add more venues and whatnot and vote on which one they want to go to. They can even make a reservation and get a ride on the app.
Coming soon, you can also use @googlemaps to easily make plans as a group. Create a shortlist of places within the app and instantly share it with friends across any platform to take a vote and quickly decide on where to go. #io18 pic.twitter.com/thdvUf8qQ7 — Google (@Google) May 8, 2018
There's no word when the AR directions are going to roll out yet, but the social and recommendation features are scheduled to go live sometime this summer.