Google Maps’ biggest desktop feature is coming to mobile


It’s hard to believe, but Google Street View has been around for 15 years. More than 220 billion photographs have been added to the service. An important change(opens in new tab) is coming, and Google has announced it as part of its celebration of this anniversary.

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

With Street View, you can go back in time and see how things used to be, which is one of the most fascinating aspects of the service. Since 2014, this feature has only been available on desktop computers, but it is now available on Android and iOS devices.

According to Google, the feature has begun rolling out today, although it has yet to appear on my phone, which is running the beta version of Google Maps.


However, doing so is a simple matter. It’s as simple as selecting any area in Street View and tapping the snapshot. When using the latest version of Google Maps, this will bring up some information about the location, as well as the option to See More Dates.

(Image credit: Google)

You can go back to earlier versions of Street View by tapping it, all the way to the feature’s debut in 2007.

How to use Street View’s time travel on desktop

On the desktop version of Street view, things are a little more complicated.. To begin travelling through time, perform the following steps:

  • Drag the yellow figure from the bottom right corner of Google Maps to your desired location.
  • The date and location of the snapshot can be found in the upper left corner of the screen. Click here to see it in action.
  • The bottom of the pop-up menu will feature a drag bar.
  • Drag the dot to the year of your choice, and press the magnifying glass in the bottom right corner to see the year in greater detail. This will bring up a full-screen version of that time period.

A new Street View camera is also coming 

Surely we’ve all heard of Google’s Street View cars, which go around snapping photos and encouraging people to pose for the camera in order to be (nearly) immortalised. The new Street View camera will make it considerably easier for Google to take pictures in places where automobiles can’t.

(Image credit: Google)

Despite its small size, Google claims this new camera has the same power, quality, and processing capabilities as the ones seen on Street View vehicles. Despite its small size, the new camera is simple enough to be connected to a car roof rack and controlled by a cell phone.

Using this method, Google will no longer need specialised vehicles and heavy camera-equipped backpacks to photograph the planet.


The camera’s modular design also allows Google to add new components to its mapping system. For lane markings and potholes, they used a LiDAR sensor.

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