Soon, Google Maps users will be able to view their flights and hotel reservations directly from the mobile app, and even use augmented reality to direct them as the travel on foot. These features are part of Google’s expanded Maps offerings aimed at travelers.
The Reservations tab, which is viewable from the Your Places section of the Maps sidebar, will display a user’s upcoming trips. If you select a trip, it will display any associated reservations. This is also available offline for travelers without a data connection and will arrive on both iOS and Android devices over the coming weeks.
The augmented reality (AR) walking navigation feature is called “Live View” and works with the phones camera to overlay arrows and labels for travelers on foot. The beta is going to roll out over the next few weeks in countries were Street View is available.
Google’s AR technology was demonstrated on stage at I/O back in May. Live View was released previously this year as a closed beta for Local Guides and Pixel phone owners.
Also, users are now able to sort the places that they’ve visited by criteria, such as date and location, compile a list of those places and share that list with other in the Timeline feature. This is only available for Android only.
Originally, Maps was used mainly as a navigation application, but with all the added features that Google has been adding, it’s become more of a hub where users can leave reviews, message local businesses, order food, view the places they have visited and, now, view the destinations they will visit, receive recommendations based on past searches or location history and save locations to reference later.
For local businesses, Maps’ expanded functionality makes their GMB listings, for better or worse, a crucial part of their online presence.