Google Maps update adds "cool" desktop feature to the mobile apps
Google Maps is arguably one of the most important apps on your phone thanks to all of its capabilities. Need to get from one city to another using the fastest possible route? Google Maps will do that for you. Need to find a place to stay? Somewhere to enjoy a meal? Get gas? Visit a famous landmark? These are all things that Google Maps can help find for you.
Tom's Guide reports that a feature found on the desktop version of Google Maps is coming to the mobile version. It is a pretty cool feature that is based on Google Street View. The latter is now 15 years old and has a library of over 220 billion images from over 100 countries and territories. And because Google keeps all of the images created for Street View, it can create something of a time machine showing you pictures of a location over the years starting in 2007.
On the desktop version of Google Maps, users have been able to watch as structures are created over time. This feature has been exclusive to Google Maps on the desktop since 2014. Starting yesterday, Google began updating this Street View "Time Machine" feature to the Android and iOS versions of Google Maps.
Street View desktop feature is coming to the iOS and Android version of Google Maps
To see whether this is working on your phone now, go to Street View and open any location. Tap the photo and if you have the latest version of Google Maps installed, you'll see more information about the location along with an option to See More Dates.
Google's new Street View camera
Google is also looking to expand its collection of Street View photos thanks to a new Street View camera that will take photos in places where the infamous Street View cars can't fit. While the new cameras are said to be the size of a small cat, they have the same resolution, power, and processing capabilities as the cameras used on Google's Street View vehicles. The new cameras are modular and can accommodate new components such as a LiDAR sensor which can help record lane markings and potholes.
Years before Google was able to move its "Time Machine" to Google Maps on mobile phones, The Wall Street Journal created a video showing off the feature in use. Check it out below.