Google Maps will now “Vibe-check” your destination for you

Two screenshots of the new features on Google Maps

Google Maps hopes you’ll use it to get a feel for where you’re going.
Picture: Google

While Amazon held its own massive unit display window today Google announced several new ones search functions, including security updates. You can read about how Google helps you remove sensitive information from its search engine here. But if you’re curious about some of the new, more UI-focused features coming to your smartphone, keep reading.

Google Maps is getting a major update soon that the company hopes will inspire you to keep using it to plan your adventures. If you’re heading into a new part of town, a feature called Neighborhood Vibe helps you get a “vibe” of where you’re going by viewing user reviews as you pan through the area. “To determine the mood of a neighborhood, we combine artificial intelligence with local knowledge from Google Maps users, who add more than 20 million contributions to the map every day,” Google writes in its advertising blog.

Because if there’s anyone I trust to know what’s going on where I live, it’s a crowd crowdsourced internet randos.

This feature will start rolling out globally in the coming months for both Android and iOS, though you can see some of its footprints at the moment. Press on Explore button when you’re in an area on Google Maps and it shows the latest reviews from Local Guides.

A screenshot of the photorealistic aerial view of Oracle Park in San Francisco.

The photorealistic aerial view of Oracle Park in San Francisco.
Screenshot: Florence Ion/Gizmodo

Google is also finally pushing through immersive viewing to Google Maps, like that teased earlier in the summer. Instead of having to drag and pan around a two-dimensional Street View to try to see what’s nearby, you’ll be able to explore photorealistic 3D aerial renderings of famous landmarks around the world and see things such as where to enter a venue and where nearby parking spaces are. .

Admittedly, this is an effective way to get a “vibe check” of how the landmarks look in person and what surrounds them. But it also competes against a feature added to Apple Maps last year.

Google Maps’ immersive view will roll out in the coming months in select locations, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York and London. But starting today, you can refresh Google Maps on your smartphone to view one of 250 static aerial photos that will sprout up in immersive mode. These previews aren’t all you can do in the feature, but they’re a cool taste of what’s to come.

I updated Google Maps and got a chance to sample the view of Oracle Park in San Francisco, where the San Francisco Giants play. The aerial view is currently limited to a panning video instead of something you can interact with. Finally, when the full immersive viewing experience launches this year, you’ll be able to interact with the three-dimensional area.

Finally, you will soon be able to use Search with Live View. Like the ability to get directions on foot using augmented reality, Search with Live View will highlight things you might be looking at, like restaurants and ATMs—just as it would mark those locations on a flat map. The ability will first be available in San Francisco, New York, London, Paris and Tokyo.

Upcoming improvements to visual search

Earlier this year, Google announced multisearch in Lens, a feature that lets you look things up with images and text. At its Search On event, Google updated us on the feature; it will be available in over 70 languages ​​over the next few months. The ability to “multisearch” for the location closest to you will also begin rolling out in English in the US later this year.

Search Shortcuts is also slowly rolling out to iOS users now, to help you get the most out of Google. Starting today on iOS, update your Google Search app to see if the new search shortcuts have rolled out to you yet. The shortcuts are supposed to appear under the search bar in the iOS Google app. They provide suggestions on how to use Google, such as translating text with the camera. I am not able to preview this feature yet on my iPhone 14 Pro Max running iOS 16.1 Beta even though I updated the app.

Most of Google’s search announcements today weren’t complete surprises, considering the company teased most of what it’s working on at Google I/O earlier this year. At least we know when to expect these new search capabilities to appear on our smartphones.

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