After hinting the feature over a year ago, Google has finally rolled out Google Maps AR for its Pixel devices. Pixel owners will now be able to see directions in their Google Maps in AR, displaying arrows to point you to the right direction in real time.
Google Maps meets AR.
— Google Maps (@googlemaps) May 7, 2019
How it works
Once activated, the AR feature will use your camera and show you a list of your surroundings with a cutout at the bottom of the screen showing the actual map.
Once you pick a location, Google Maps will display arrows for directions in a real-time environment and put a waypoint in the map at the bottom. It will also show you other helpful on-screen information such as banners with street names, a distance countdown, etc. Pretty much like a heads-up display
Google went to great lengths to ensure you don’t keep looking at your phone too long while walking down the street. If you have been looking at the screen for too long, Maps gives you a warning and even goes as far as to dimming the screen so users will pay attention to what is ahead of them.
Although this is meant as a security feature, it also saves you battery and mobile data. Quite useful especially since Google says that AR Maps will use a lot more data.
AR Maps is only available on Pixel phones right now. There’s no word on when it’ll roll out for other devices.