Back in February, Google started testing an AR navigation feature that leveraged a phone's camera to overlay directions pointing towards a user's destination. The functionality has been available to Local Guides for the past few months, and the company is now rolling it out more globally after successful testing. For the occasion, it has also given it a name: Live View.

The feature is rolling out as a beta service for all users with Android and iOS devices that support ARCore and ARKit starting this week. Live View works wherever Street View is available, and simply requires you to point your phone at your surroundings so it can recognize them. By using a combination of GPS, camera, and compass data, Maps will know exactly which way you're headed and where you need to go.

I've had the chance to try out this feature a couple of times over the past few months, and it's particularly convenient to navigate complex intersections. It's actually what it's intended for, as Maps will prompt you to put your phone down in case you keep walking with it pointed at the street. The only complaint I have about Live View is how stupid you can look when trying to show it where you are, but besides that, it's really a lifesaver.

If you have a compatible device and the functionality is available to you, simply look up your destination, click on Directions -> Walking Directions -> Live View to try it out. Unfortunately, Google's feature is only intended for walking navigation, but some car manufacturers have already implemented AR navigation in their vehicles, so there's no reason for Google not to implement it as well.

Google Maps
Google Maps
Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free