Skip to main content

Google Maps is getting improved Live View navigation, more detailed map data

Google is making Maps even more helpful than it already is. At Google I/O 2021, the company announced a series of updates to Google Maps that will make it more helpful in day-to-day life, and improve features like the augmented reality (AR) view that Google launched in Maps last year.

Perhaps the most notable change to Maps is that Google is adding more detail in several places. For example, Google Maps will now show users where things like crosswalks, street signs, and intersection markers are straight from the normal map view. As noted by Google at the event, this could be very helpful for parents with strollers, those in a wheelchair, or those who just want to plan their exact walk. The more detailed view was actually already announced by Google in August, but is now more rolling out to 50 more cities around the world.

Related Videos

Google is also helping users find out more about how busy a location is before they get there. Google has already allowed users to see how busy it thinks a business will be on a given day or time, straight from Search or in Maps. Now, it’s expanding that feature to show how busy a whole area might be. You’ll be able to see the “busy-ness” of an area in the normal map view, and Google will highlight areas that are busier than usual — such as an event space or local attraction.

Google Maps busyness launch

At Google I/O three years ago, the company launched Live View, which allows users to get directions in AR in Google Maps. At Google I/O 2021, the company announced that the feature is now available in more than 100 countries, including large cities and rural towns. Soon, users will be able to access Live View straight from a map itself with the tap of a simple button. Not only that, but as announced earlier this year, Live View is coming to indoor spaces like airports and malls, which will help users find businesses, airport gates, and more.

Google wants to make Maps a little more helpful for drivers as well. Google is improving Maps to steer drivers away from so-called “hard-braking” areas — where drivers might have to slam on the brakes due to suddenly slowing traffic. Google Maps will now calculate multiple routes and determine the best route based on factors like how many lanes are available and how direct a route is.

Editors' Recommendations

Google I/O 2023 is happening on May 10 with an in-person event

It's that time of year once again. The days are getting longer, the gray skies of winter are slowly fading away, and it's almost time for another Google I/O. While it's a given that we have a new I/O each year, Google always puts on a little show when announcing the date for the next one. And now, we officially know when Google I/O 2023 will take place.

The opening keynote for this year's I/O is taking place at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California. In its email confirming the time and date, Google says, "Join a select audience to learn about Google’s latest innovations and developer solutions that help you work smarter and improve productivity." The opening keynote for I/O 2023 — where most of the big news and announcements are revealed — kicks off at 10 a.m. PT on May 10.

Read more
Our 5 favorite iPhone and Android apps by Black developers
An iPhone with apps from Black developers downloaded on it.

As we wrap up the celebration of 2023's Black History Month, it remains important to recognize and appreciate the contributions that Black people have made in various fields, including technology and the smartphone apps we use every day. From social media platforms to productivity tools, Black developers and other people of color have worked hard to create innovative, useful, and just plain fun apps.

Here, we're focusing on five helpful apps developed by Black people that you should check out. These iPhone and Android apps range from ones that help you discover and support Black-owned businesses to ones that provide legal assistance in case of an emergency to ones that curate and highlight sources of news and entertainment by Black creators.
We Read Too

Read more
Google just announced 9 new features for your Android phone and watch
Samsung Galaxy S23 showing Google Photos

Google has announced some big new features coming to Android and Wear OS devices during the Mobile World Congress 2023 event in Barcelona, Spain. These new features are beginning to roll out starting today, February 27, with others to come later.
New Android features available starting February 27

Google Drive users will now be able to do freehand annotation on Android phones and tablets. This means you are now able to use a stylus or your fingers to annotate PDFs directly in the Google Drive app on Android.

Read more