Google Maps' new AI-powered immersive view blows Apple's alternative out of the water

google Maps immersive
(Image credit: Google)

Google Maps has finally started rolling out its brand-new immersive view feature, and it's one of the most impressive mapping app updates I've seen in recent memory. 

First announced last year, Google Maps' new immersive view uses AI to help users explore immersive views of the world, while also offering routes based on fuel efficiency and Live View in third-party apps. 

The new immersive view uses AI to fuse billions of Street View and aerial images to create a digital model of the world. "With our new immersive view, you’ll be able to experience what a neighborhood, landmark, restaurant or popular venue is like — and even feel like you’re right there before you ever set foot inside,"  Google said in a release last year. The new feature will work on "just about any phone and device", including all of Apple's best iPhones such as the iPhone 14 Pro

Google Maps rolls out immersive view

Google confirmed in February the start of its immersive view rollout, however, it is only this week that users have started to notice the feature. The Google Maps subreddit includes users noticing the change this week.

So far, the rollout is confined to London, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Tokyo. However, Google plans to roll it out to more cities including Amsterdam, Dublin, and Venice "in the coming months."

Also new to Google Maps is a new AI-powered augmented reality feature that lets you use Live View to find places like ATMs, restaurants, parks, and transit stations just by holding your phone up in the street. Live View is available in  London, Los Angeles, New York, Paris, San Francisco, and Tokyo.

While Apple Maps is much better than it was when it first rolled out, Apple could see itself left behind in the map app department if it doesn't start pushing its own boat out soon. That's especially true if companies like Google start to leverage the ever-expanding power of artificial intelligence to make significant changes more quickly. 

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9