Google is bringing some new handy features to Google Maps over the next few weeks, just in time for the holidays when many people will be traveling.
First announced at the Google Search On event in September, Maps will get more immersive with a new “Search with Live View” feature. With this, users will be able to see more of what is around them through AR.
The new visual search experience can give a picture of a neighborhood at a glance in London, Los Angeles, New York, Paris, San Francisco and Tokyo.
“Search with Live View” is set to roll out to Android and iOS devices next week. All you have to do is lift your phone and tap on the camera icon in the search bar to see nearby stores and other places like coffee shops, landmarks, parks, restaurants, banks and ATMs and the AR directions will show you where they are and how far away they are. You will also see other info like how busy the location is, whether it’s open, what the price range is and how it’s rated by Google Maps users.
At the same time, Google Maps is finally rolling out a much-needed feature for EV owners that will make it much easier to find EV charging stations while traveling. You will now be able to search for “EV charging stations” on Google Maps and it will show where you can find one. You can use the “fast charge” filter to help you find stations with 50kW chargers or higher but you can also filter for stations that offer your EV’s plug type.
Google is also adding wheelchair accessibility information to Google Maps. This was initially only available in the U.S., Australia, UK and Japan, but has now rolled out globally. Google Maps will add an icon on a business profile to indicate if it’s wheelchair accessible. The feature can also be useful for people with a cart or a stroller who might want to know if there is a ramp available at a particular location.
The updates are part of a wider Google Search rollout by the tech giant. Google is also debuting a new search feature for sneakers that will let you see shoes in AR before buying them, ahead of Black Friday. And there is now a “multi search near me” feature on Google’s native app that will let you find your favorite dish near you using an image.