Instead of relying on an unclear blue dot while walking around a cluttered city, Google suggests this camera-fueled augmented reality interface may one day save the day. Let's start with the fact that Google Lens is coming to camera apps on supported devices from LG, Motorola, Xiaomi, Sony Mobile, HMD/Nokia, Transsion, TCL, OnePlus, BQ, ASUS, and the Google Pixel, of course. You'll be told where the "tastemakers are going" and even get a checklist, letting you track the joints you've visited and the ones you still need to make time to see.
Finally, the new version of Google Maps will make it easier to make plans with friends to go out.
And it's not just navigation that Maps is improving. The platform is getting some new features focused on highlighting places and activities Google's algorithms think you'll like, including a new "For you" tab that's an automatically-populated list of spots you might want to check out.
One other bummer about these enhanced turn-by-turn directions: Google didn't say when the new feature will find its way to Maps. So if you're exhausted of sorting through all those 4-star options, soon you can just go with your machine-based match.
To offer personal recommendations, Google created a "Your Match" score that users machine learning to combine what Google knows about hundreds of millions of places with the information a user has added - such as restaurants a user has rated and cuisines they like. Simply tap on a destination within Maps to see its score. Perhaps that will lead to your group discovering a new place that you may enjoy together. In the I/O demo, it was a cartoon fox bounding in front of you to show you the right direction, but honestly, this seems like a potential reincarnation of Clippy, the much loathed assistant that's thankfully been purged from Microsoft's Office apps.