Google notes changes coming to Google Maps including AR-based “Search with Live View”

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On Thursday, Google revealed in a blog post that some changes are coming to Google Maps. One new feature, “Search with Live View,” was unveiled in September and will start rolling out next week on both iOS and Android platforms in London, Los Angeles, New York, Paris, San Francisco, and Tokyo. The feature, which uses augmented reality, requires that you use your phone’s camera. Here’s how it works.
Remember Live View on Google Maps? If you’re walking, the app will overlay arrows on top of a real-world view from your camera to help you navigate from one place to another. Live View will also show you certain landmarks. Search with Live View helps you find places that are close to your current location in certain cities.

Google Maps’ Search with Live View uses AI, AR, and billions of Street View images

For example, let’s imagine that you are in New York City and you want to run some errands, do some holiday shopping, and, dine with friends. Thanks to AI, AR, and billions of Street View images, you can find the places you need that are mostly right in front of you. From the Google Maps app, lift your phone and tap on the camera icon in the search bar to see stores that are nearby along with coffee shops, banks, and ATMs.

Thanks to AR, the user will see arrows and directions in front of a real-world view. And with all of those aforementioned Street View images available, even stores that are around the corner and not accessible to your phone’s camera can show up. And besides showing you the name of each store, bank, or restaurant, Search with Live View will provide you with other important information such as whether a store is open or closed, how busy it might be, whether its prices are cheap or dear, and how high or low the business is considered by the Google Maps community.

Whether you have an electric vehicle (EV) or not, more and more people are turning to these vehicles. And that means those driving EVs will need to be able to find facilities where they can charge their cars. Google Maps will help you in this endeavor. Simply open the Google Maps app and search for “EV charging stations;” press on the “fast charge” filter and the app will show you stations with chargers 50kW or higher allowing you to charge faster.

The filter can also be used to show charging stations that use plug types compatible with your car. These new features are available right now on iOS and Android devices in countries

that have EV charging stations.

Lastly, Google reminds us that it has been two years since it started showing wheelchair accessible places in Australia, Japan, the U.K., and U.S. This feature will let you know when a destination is wheelchair accessible. The good news here is that the feature is now available globally on Google Maps regardless of whether you use the iOS or Android platform. To use it, turn on the “Accessible Places” setting in Google Maps. Here’s what you do:

Google Maps will show you which places have wheelchair accessible

Open Google Maps and tap the initials, or profile pix on the right side of the search bar near the top of the display. Tap on Settings > Accessibility settings. Toggle on Accessible places which will “Show if places have wheelchair accessible features like entrances, seating, restrooms, and parking when searching or viewing a place.” Google does warn that accessibility information seen on this feature may differ from conditions in the real world.

If the setting is enabled and you search for a business, you’ll see a wheelchair icon if the location can be visited by a person in a wheelchair. If not, the icon will have a line through it.  The information is sourced from the Google Maps community.

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