Technology

Google Maps for Android adds a street view option

In addition to being a fun way to explore landmarks, Street View is useful for getting a detailed sense of where you’re going. Google Maps on the web has long provided a more useful Street View experience, but the Android app was just updated to match.

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On Android, Street View can be accessed by opening a place’s listing or just dropping a pin — by holding down anywhere — on the map. In contrast, maps.google.com on the web allows you to drag the yellow “Pegman” mascot while the map highlights where Street View is available.

This exploration capability is now available in Google Maps for Android. Tapping the map layers FAB in the top-right corner reveals a new “Explore” section to join Map Type (Default, Satellite, Terrain) and Map Details (Transit, Traffic, Bicycling).

Applying the layer will overlay in blue where Street View is available. In this mode, tapping anywhere will immediately launch the Street View viewer. If you’re zoomed in to individual streets, they will be lined in blue. Zoomed out, areas that have more imagery are marked in a darker shade. Areas that do not have Street View will just show the underlying map type color. 

This is useful for getting a general sense of where Street View is available. It helps you determine ahead of time where you can drop a pin. The answer in most cities is everywhere, but it’s still a useful guide and can present some interesting findings. For example, the Bay Area has Street View of a ferry ride.

As of Google Maps 10.23.4 — the latest stable release, the new Street View layer is widely available on Android . It’s not yet rolled out on Google Maps for iOS.


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