Unlock Easier Navigation with Google Maps’ Augmented Reality Feature

For many of us, navigating even our own cities can sometimes be a challenge, leading us to rely heavily on tools like Google Maps. While this app is a staple for directions, many users might not be familiar with a relatively recent update that can significantly enhance how we find our way.

Google Maps has introduced an augmented reality (AR) feature called Live View, which makes understanding directions visually intuitive and straightforward.

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How to Use Google Maps Live View

Google Maps Live View is designed to help users navigate in real time using AR, showing the actual path you need to take to reach your destination overlaid on the live view of your surroundings through your phone’s camera. Here’s how to activate this feature:

  1. Open the Google Maps app on your smartphone and enter your destination.
  2. Tap on the directions as you normally would to start navigating.
  3. Look for the ‘Live View’ button, which appears in the bottom right corner of the app along with a Google Maps icon labeled ‘LIVE’.
  4. Give the necessary permissions, including camera and location access, to let the app show directions using AR.

Once activated, Live View uses your phone’s camera to display your real-time surroundings with directional arrows and street names superimposed. This makes it easier to understand which way you need to go, especially in complex or unfamiliar areas.

Benefits of Using Live View

The Live View feature is more than just a directional aid. It enriches your navigation experience by integrating Google’s extensive data on places of interest:

  • Visual Guidance: See arrows and directions overlaid on the actual environment around you, reducing confusion and missed turns.
  • Place Information: Get instant details about nearby establishments like restaurants, bars, and other attractions, complete with reviews and ratings.

Availability and Usage Tips

While Live View is incredibly helpful, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure you can use it effectively:

  • Device Compatibility and Permissions: Make sure your device supports AR and that you’ve granted all necessary permissions to Google Maps.
  • Internet Connection: A stable internet connection is required to download map data, though some offline capabilities are available if you’ve pre-downloaded the area map.
  • Outdoor Use: Live View is primarily designed for outdoor use and works best in well-lit conditions.


Google Maps’ Live View can transform how you navigate, making walking through cities simpler and more interactive. It’s particularly useful for tourists or anyone exploring new neighborhoods, ensuring you can focus more on enjoying your surroundings rather than just following a line on a map. Next time you’re setting out on an adventure or just trying to find a new café in your city, remember to try out this innovative AR feature for a smoother experience.