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Google Maps will help you explore neighborhoods with your phone’s camera

Google is adding another big new augmented reality feature to Google Maps that lets you learn more about what’s around you just by looking through your phone’s camera. The feature, which Google calls Search with Live View, shows you things like coffee shops and ATMs when you’re holding up your phone and pointing it at the world around you.

If you’re in a city where Search with Live View is available, just tap the camera button in the Google Maps search bar, point your phone’s camera at the buildings and places nearby, and look for the dots that pop up indicating where landmarks are. You can tap on a dot to learn more about it. This one is a little more easily understood in a GIF, so check out this one from Google:

Google revealed some initial details about Search with Live View in September, but on Thursday, it’s announcing that the feature will begin rolling out in London, Los Angeles, New York, Paris, San Francisco, and Tokyo on Android and iOS beginning next week.

The company is making a few other updates to Google Maps as well. If you’re searching for an EV charging station, you can now set a “fast charge” filter that helps you find stations with 50kW chargers or higher. Google is also making its “accessible places” feature, which lets you see if a destination on Maps is wheelchair-accessible, available globally; it first launched in 2020 in Australia, Japan, the UK, and the US.

Google is updating a few search features on Thursday, too. The company will let you search for an exact meal and see what restaurants serve it near you; this feature will be available on mobile and in the Android and iOS Google apps. Multisearch, which lets you use an image and text in a special type of search, will let you search for things “near me,” though this feature is only available in the US to start. (Google first announced multisearch near me at I/O in May.) Google is also launching a new tool in the US to let you look at sneakers in AR.

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