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Google Maps Navigation Just Got a Big 3D Upgrade

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Google Maps has long been a favorite among navigation apps, known for its comprehensive data set, immersive views, and excellent navigational tools. With its constant updates and user-friendly interface, Google Maps remains a go-to choose for many. 

Now, the app has taken another significant step forward with a new beta update that introduces 3D buildings to its navigation feature, providing users with a more realistic and immersive navigation experience.

In the latest beta version of Google Maps (version 124), users now have the option to enable 3D buildings during navigation. This update, which was first spotted by Assemble Debug on X (formerly Twitter) and reported by the Android Police team, allows users to see buildings in 3D, making it easier to recognize their surroundings and navigate more effectively. This feature is available under the Map Display settings, where users can toggle the “Show 3D buildings” option.

The addition of 3D buildings might seem like a minor update, but it significantly enhances the navigation experience, especially for daily users. By providing a more realistic view of the environment, this feature helps drivers and pedestrians alike to better understand their surroundings, potentially reducing the likelihood of missed turns and navigation errors.

To experience these new features, users can download the beta version of Google Maps or enable the feature via the settings menu. Those not in the beta program can sign up on the Google Play Store to become testers. However, access to the new features may take some time to appear, so patience is advised.

This update is part of Google’s ongoing effort to keep Google Maps ahead of its competitors. Recent updates have included features like Immersive View, Lens in Maps, advanced navigation tools, and AI-powered suggestions. The new 3D building feature complements these by providing a visually richer and more intuitive navigation experience.

Immersive View allows users to see their routes in 3D, offering a preview of their journey and making navigation in unfamiliar areas easier. Lens in Maps uses AI to identify objects in real-time through the phone’s camera, enhancing the way users interact with their environment. Advanced Navigation includes lane guidance, traffic updates, and interesting spot notifications along the route, acting like a co-pilot. The New Aerial View API provides a 3D bird’s-eye view for apps and websites, enhancing user experience with detailed visual data. Photo-First Result features billions of community-shared photos to help users find the perfect spot based on visual recommendations. Activities and Suggestions provide AI-powered results for spontaneous plan changes, like finding indoor activities during unexpected rain.

In addition to the 3D buildings, Google Maps has introduced two other minor but useful updates:

  1. Users with electric vehicles can now easily find nearby charging stations by setting their vehicle type in the app’s settings. This feature, previously available on Android Auto, is now part of the main app.
  2.  When searching for a specific road, Google Maps will now highlight the entire length of the road in blue, providing a clearer view of its start and end points.

These updates reflect Google Maps’ commitment to continually improving its service, making navigation easier and more convenient for its users. While minor, these enhancements collectively contribute to a more comprehensive and user-friendly navigation experience.

For those interested in trying out the latest features, joining the beta program or updating to the newest version of Google Maps is recommended. 

Whether you’re a daily commuter or an occasional traveller, these new tools and features are designed to make navigation simpler and more intuitive.

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