Google is testing an added augmented reality layer in Street View that could be a godsend for those who have trouble picturing where they on a map. The feature, first spotted by a 9to5Google reader, adds interactive pins to Street View. They replicate some of the same icons you see when using the app's main overhead view. For instance, an orange one denotes a restaurant, while a blue icon signifies a more general business.
Hovering your mouse over an icon displays a floating box that lists the name of the location, as well as a short description. You'll also see the place's review rating, and get a sense of how much it costs to visit, eat or shop there. Clicking on the pins, meanwhile, will cause the Google Maps sidebar to appear where you can see a more comprehensive listing. What some people are likely to appreciate about this functionality is that you don't have to switch out of Street View to get more information about a business.
It appears Google is currently testing this feature with a limited subset of Maps users. 9to5Google reports one of their readers was able to access the pins in places like New York and Boston, but not smaller cities. We didn't encounter the updated Street View in our testing. It's also worth noting it seems the feature is only available on the web at the moment.
As with tests the company has done in the past, this functionality may not make its way to the live app. That said, what's here feels like an extension of the Live View functionality the company introduced in 2019. Clearly, Google sees augmented reality as a valuable tool for navigation and plans to do more with the technology.