Google Maps has finally started rolling out its brand-new immersive view feature, and it’s one of the most impressive mapping app updates I’ve seen in recent memory.
First announced last year, Google Maps’ new immersive view uses AI to help users explore immersive views of the world, while also offering routes based on fuel efficiency and Live View in third-party apps.
The new immersive view uses AI to fuse billions of Street View and aerial images to create a digital model of the world. “With our new immersive view, you’ll be able to experience what a neighborhood, landmark, restaurant or popular venue is like — and even feel like you’re right there before you ever set foot inside,” Google said in a release last year. The new feature will work on “just about any phone and device”, including all of Apple’s best iPhones such as the iPhone 14 Pro.
Google Maps rolls out immersive view
Google confirmed in (opens in new tab) February the start of its immersive view rollout, however, it is only this week that users have started to notice the feature. The Google Maps subreddit includes users noticing the change (opens in new tab) this week.
Introducing an immersive view — a whole new way to explore on Google Maps. 🌎You’ll be able to experience what a place looks and feels like before you arrive, powered by advances in AI that allow us to fuse together billions of Street View and aerial images. #GoogleIO pic.twitter.com/UCj7cInz2RMay 11, 2022
So far, the rollout is confined to London, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Tokyo. However, Google plans to roll it out to more cities including Amsterdam, Dublin, and Venice “in the coming months.”
Wow Google Maps shows these *immersive* videos for some landmarks in #Singapore. It’s only video, not the actual “immersive view” yet. pic.twitter.com/ySbLSxn7KhMarch 24, 2023
Also new to Google Maps is a new AI-powered augmented reality feature that lets you use Live View to find places like ATMs, restaurants, parks, and transit stations just by holding your phone up in the street. Live View is available in London, Los Angeles, New York, Paris, San Francisco, and Tokyo.
While Apple Maps is much better than it was when it first rolled out, Apple could see itself left behind in the map app department if it doesn’t start pushing its own boat out soon. That’s especially true if companies like Google start to leverage the ever-expanding power of artificial intelligence to make significant changes more quickly.