Have you ever opened up Street View in Google maps and tried to move more than a couple of steps to get a good look around? It's useful and kinda cool, but also utterly horrible. Every move required a tap on the little arrows at the bottom, and you had to wait a little bit after each tap before making the next one. Plus, the arrows weren't always very clear about where they would take you. Seriously, it was really bad. But there's great news: Google is throwing out the old arrows and switching to a new swipe-to-move feature that makes Street View super fluid and much easier to use.

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Left: the old arrows. Right: the new line to swipe.

The way it works is really simple. There's a blue line drawn everywhere that you're able to explore. Just set your finger down on the line and start dragging in the direction you want to go. You can easily look ahead to see which way an intersection will take, which wasn't always clear with the arrows, and it's pretty easy to move around. One of the best parts is that you don't have to wait for each screen to partially load before swiping again–you can get some decent momentum with a few quick swipes to go flying through a few city blocks in seconds.

Swiping to get around isn't flawless, it can still be a little finicky at some intersections, especially when Maps has registered multiple paths for travel and some are broken. And since dragging a finger on the screen is now used for both moving around and adjusting the camera angle, you can accidentally end up looking straight up at the sky instead of moving forward. These issues will probably get worked out in the future, after a little fine tuning.

Google seems to be triggering the new swipe navigation model for everybody at once with a change server-side. It's working on versions of Google Maps as far back as v9.26.1. However, v9.25.1 and v9.30 from the Android N Developer Preview don't appear to support it, so the arrows are still showing up. No particular version of the Street View app seems to be required either.

If you want to have a little fun with this, try to swipe fast enough to hit ludicrous speed and watch the partially loaded screens go a little crazy. While you're at it, keep an eye out for this little easter egg that was added in v9.26.1. I still haven't seen it, but I suspect this is the feature that will make it work.