Not a lot of people are aware that Live View is now, well, live for Google Maps users since last year. That’s because the way to access it is not as accessible and is buried somewhere in the app. Even if it’s a familiar process since it’s the same thing when you’re using walking directions, it can still be easily overlooked. Now it looks like Maps is testing out a floating action button or FAB that will be more prominent and therefore easier to access when you’re looking for directions.
Live View is an option for Google Maps users where you can use augmented reality on the camera-based UI to get walking directions to your destinations. It was first teased back in I/O 2018 and then at last year’s I/O conference, they rolled it out more widely to Android (and iOs) users. However, as we mentioned, there aren’t a lot of people who knew about it because accessing it wasn’t so blatant.
They’re now testing out an easier way for you to get to Live View. After you’ve selected your location, a Live View FAB will appear above the button that you tap to center you on the map. Your camera will then launch and will show you which direction you should turn to and how far away it is from you. You’ll see an arrow to promote you to move your phone and your destination will be marked with a floating pin which indicates the distance.
You’ll see a card at the bottom of your screen that will let you begin your AR-guided navigation. Of course, you have to be careful when using Live View especially when crossing the street or when walking in crowded areas where you might bump into people.
This easier Live View access is still in beta and is only available for selected devices. Google said it will be testing it over the next few months.