Google is rolling out new features focused on discovery and navigation in its Maps app on both Android and iOS. The tech giant had previously announced in February the introduction of “glanceable directions”, which will commence rolling out this month.
Glanceable directions will allow users who opt-in to track walking, cycling, and driving trip progress directly from their lock screen or route overview. The new feature will also provide updated ETAs and notifications about where to make each turn, offering a more intuitive and user-friendly navigation experience.
Simultaneously, Google will update the Recents feature on the desktop. This feature automatically organizes places you’ve researched in Maps into a highlight on the side of the Maps screen. In the near future, Google intends to save places in Recent highlights even after you’ve closed the Google Maps window. Additional tools to remove places you’ve viewed, create custom routes between destinations, and share a selection of places with someone else will also be added.
Along with these changes, Google’s AI-powered feature, Immersive View, is expanding its reach on the iOS and Android Maps app. Immersive View, which fuses together images to create a multidimensional view of the world, will now cover over 500 landmarks. Some of the highlights include Prague Castle and Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Christina Tong, senior product manager at Google Maps, elaborated on the new features in a blog post. She mentioned that the time slider in Immersive View would provide users with valuable information, such as what the weather will be like at different times of day and how crowded specific locations will be. This will aid users in planning ahead. Additionally, where data is available, users can peek inside restaurants and cafes to help them decide whether to make a reservation.
These updates underscore Google’s ongoing commitment to enhancing user experience and making navigation and discovery more seamless and efficient.