Google Maps just got a slew of new features
There’s a new Google Maps in town, and it may know you better than you know yourself.
At Google’s annual I/O developer conference, Google announced a new version of Google Maps with more interactive and personalized features.
Google Vice President of Engineering Jen Fitzpatrick announced the app is getting a “For You” tab that will list new and top-rated restaurants and attractions close to you as well as recommend places based on your search history. You’ll be able to book appointments and place orders right in the app.
Maps users “want to know what’s happening around them, what the new places to try are, and what’s happening in their neighborhood,” said Fitzpatrick in the keynote.
You’ll also soon be able to make lists of your favorite attractions and share them with your friends. Your friends can add their own attractions if they’re feeling collaborative, or just upvote their favorites if they’re feeling judgemental.
Sound familiar? Yeah, it’s pretty similar to apps like Yelp and Foursquare. But it’ll certainly be convenient to have the service built into Google Maps if you need to research while navigating.
Aparna Chennapragada, Google’s vice president of product for augmented and virtual reality, also announced an AR feature that aims to make navigation easier.
Have you ever had to walk in about twelve different directions to figure out which way Google Maps needed you to go? “We’ve all been there,” Chennapragada remarked — but that may be coming to an end.
Soon, thanks to Google Maps’ new “AR Visual Positioning System,” literal arrows in front of you will point you in the direction you need to go. You’ll also see names and reviews of nearby businesses overlaid around you.
Also, apparently a fox will help guide you. Or something. This dude is somehow involved.
This isn’t the first time an app has tried using AR to guide you. In 2008, Yelp launched a very similar feature called “Monocle” to show reviews of nearby restaurants and stores in your iPhone’s camera.
That feature didn’t last too long, but with augmented reality picking up speed, it’s possible Google’s iteration could be here to stay — and to make your travel easier.