Updated: March 31, 2021 2:15:57 pm
While travel hasn’t been the biggest highlight in the lives of many people over the past year, Google Maps has been continuously improving. It has now implemented new features that make the app much more usable, even when you’re not on the road. Maps users will be able to use a new ‘Live View’ feature indoors in certain locations.
The new feature will show users directions, landmarks and pinpoints indoors using Augmented Reality (AR) in select supported locations. The feature was previously used by Maps for outdoor navigation. Supported locations, for now, include airports, malls, and transit stations.
“If you’re catching a plane or train, Live View can help you find the nearest elevator and escalators, your gate, platform, baggage claim, check-in counters, ticket office, restrooms, ATMs and more,” Google said in a blog post. “Arrows and accompanying directions will point you the right way. And if you need to pick something up from the mall, use Live View to see what floor a store is on and how to get there so you can get in and out in a snap,” the company added.
While available to both Android and iOS users, the new indoor ‘Live Views’ feature is currently limited to certain regions in the United States. These include Chicago, Long Island, Los Angeles, Newark, San Francisco, San Jose, and Seattle. We expect the feature to later be available in more regions as well.
New Weather Layer, eco-friendly travel
Google Maps is also introducing a new weather layer that will allow users to quickly see current and forecast conditions. This will allow users to plan their trips according to upcoming weather forecasts, decreasing the likelihood of last moment cancellations and other issues. In addition to the weather layer, users will also see an air quality layer that will show how healthy/unhealthy the air is.
Another new feature in Google Maps will make the route with the lowest carbon footprint the default route when you navigate to a location. Users will still be able to set the fastest route as the default route, but the feature will let users compare the CO2 emissions of the multiple route options.
“With insights from the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Lab, we’re building a new routing model that optimizes for lower fuel consumption based on factors like road incline and traffic congestion,” Google said. This feature is also expected to launch later in European countries including Germany, the Netherlands, France, Spain, and the UK.
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