Early last month we heard that Google’s AR navigation for walking directions in Google Maps would soon be rolling out to Local Guides as an early test/ preview. While we were at MWC we came across the option for AR navigation, and now it seems that some Local Guides are receiving invites to test the new feature.
To use AR navigation all you need to do is choose walking directions, if you’ve got access to the trial it will a new ‘start AR’ option will show next to the old start button. Simply tap on that and your AR navigation experience will start.
At the beginning of the trip you’ll be asked to move your camera around a little so that the system can “get its bearings”, as it recognises the local surrounds it will then show the navigation UI over the camera feed.
At this stage I didn’t find the feature that useful, I traditionally look at the map, get a general bearing for where I’m headed and then set off in that direction with a wireless earbud feeding my the occasion course correction for Maps. That said, we didn’t extensively use it, nor did we try any “complex” navigation. Perhaps it would really come into its own under different circumstances.
If you’re a Local Guide we’re hearing that some users are getting emails inviting them to try the new feature, for me, it still just shows up in the Google Maps app, and I didn’t receive an invitation that I know of. If you want to give it a go, open maps, start walking navigation and see if you’ve got the new option.