Google Maps has been the number 1 map application for desktop and mobile devices alike and it is no surprise why. The application has been in existence since Feb 2005 and has been making steady strides to improve its features and integration into our daily lives. Here is why May 2019 updates for Google Maps is such a major improvement. Especially for Singaporeans.
Google Maps AR
AR stands for Augmented Reality and it is a big changer for Google Maps. Instead of getting an overview of what your next turn or direction is going to be like. Google will now switch the view to a live view of the street and augment the direction you should take on the street. No more confusing “head south” when yo don’t even have a single clue where that is. This change is likely going to improve directions for individuals who don’t have a good sense of direction.
How to activate AR?
Right now it only works on walking directions where it is needed more. Usually when you need directions, you need to hit “start”. However, if you have the latest version of Google Maps, you’ll see a new option called “Start AR”. click that and you’ll activate that mode. Do take note that Google will need to access your camera so that it can actually augment the direction signs onto your screen.
While this is still on testing mode, it already looks like a fool proof concept that could make its way onto driving. It will also be awesome if it could work 100% underground or in shopping malls to find stores.
However, that will be an issue due to poor connection to GPS.
Cinema showings and timings
While this is a minor update, to a movie buff like myself, this makes things so much easier. When you search for the cinema location. Not only will you get the usual business information and directions, you can instantly see the movie listings as well as timings on the go. Currently you are limited to just seeing the different movies and listing on different days. And you will still need to enter the website to make a booking. In the future, it will be interesting if they have integrate an API to allow you to book the movie all in the same window and see the pricing and availability on the fly.
What this means for the future?
Google has already integrated many useful functions within Google my businesses such as adding of products and services, adding of menus for restaurants, make bookings on hotels and not least. Pictures and videos content alongside reviews. With the amount of functionality and user driven information, it looks positive for businesses to start advertising on Google Maps in the future. In fact, you can already start ad listings on Google maps and it acts similarly like Google Ads.
It will be interesting to see how Google is looking to steer Google maps and where the marketing for Google Maps will take us.