The Maps app is gaining a dedicated “For You” tab that is designed to “tell you what you need to know about the neighborhoods you care about.” It will feature new restaurants opening nearby, trending spots, and more, based on places you’ve rated and places you’ve visited.
For You will be accompanied by a new “Match Score” that predicts which restaurants you’re most likely to prefer based on your personal preferences, which is designed to help you to choose between multiple restaurant suggestions.
To facilitate making plans with others, Google Maps is gaining a feature that will let you long press on any restaurant or location to add it to a shortlist that can be shared with friends to get their input. Once shared, your friends can add additional suggestions to the list and vote on the place they’d most like to visit to find a group favorite.
Google also announced a new augmented reality feature that’s coming to the Street View version of Maps for walking directions. When you’re using Google Maps to find a location that you’re walking to, you’ll see an AR overlay with specific directions on which way to go and information on exactly what’s around you, reimagining walking navigation.
Google says it is augmented GPS with VPS, or a visual positioning system meant to estimate a person’s precise position and orientation using visual landmarks.
Google did not say when the augmented reality Google Maps features will launch, nor which platform they’ll be available on, so it is unclear when and if we will see the augmented reality features in the Google Maps app for iOS devices. Given that most Google Maps features roll out to both Android and iOS, it’s reasonable to assume that AR maps will come to iPhones and iPads.
Along with improvements to Google Maps, Google also announced changes coming to Google Lens, available in Google Photos and Google Assistant apps. Google Lens is gaining smart text selection, which will allow it to recognize text in the real world and then translate it to text on a device, so you can essentially copy and paste real world text.
Real-time functionality is coming to Google Lens, allowing it to proactively gather information about everything the camera is seeing to overlay live results directly on top of real-world items. A new Style Match feature will let Google Lens scan images and then find related items. So, for example, you can scan a lamp and find items in the same style, or scan an outfit and find similar clothes.
Google Lens is being integrated directly into the camera app on select Android smartphones like the Google Pixel and the new LG G7, which will give Android users quicker access to Google Lens functionality. All of these new features are rolling out over the course of the next few weeks.