Google Maps AR

Ever wondered how cool it would look if navigations to places just appeared right in front of you? Well that’s becoming a reality, kinda. Google is bringing augmented reality walking directions. It will be called Google Maps Live View. It is available on Android and iOS, if you have beta capabilities. We think Google Maps AR version is going to be incredible!

We first blogged on Google Maps AR when it appeared on Google’s Pixel phone’s earlier on this year. It showed real time navigation of Google Maps through your phone’s camera.

Simply hold your phone up next to the streets and your surroundings. It will then display arrows and directions overlaid on top of the camera view. Making it so much easier to get to places.

How To: Google Maps AR

So, Android owners whose devices support ARCore or iPhones which support ARKit will be able to access Google Maps Live View beta this week. You can test Google Maps Live View by:

  • Searching for a location you want to walk to or tap it on a map
  • Tap on the directions button at the bottom
  • Select walking directions at the top of the screen
  • Tap on the new Live View option at the bottom of the screen

Google is adding a whole host of new features to it’s mapping service. The tech giant want Google to be the place where you plan your trips from start to finish and is adding loads of features, this just seems to be the coolest one yet.

(The Verge)

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Google Maps AR

Google Maps AR

We came across the below tweet earlier on the week and we are very very impressed! Who needs Google Glasses or Apple Glasses when you have got your phone and AR! Say hello to Google Maps AR! It’s now looking like it’s starting to roll it out slowly to some users

Google announced this feature in May of 2018 at it’s annual I/O developer conference. At the time it was called the AR Visual Positioning System. Which provided a layer of augmented reality over reality. Just raise your phone in front of your eyes and you are given directions of where to go. Whereas if you were to put your phone down it will revert back to the traditional map view.

It doesn’t look like something I’d use all the time and Rachel Inman the AR lead for the project told the Wall Street Journal that it’s not meant to be used as a primary navigation tool. Rather intended to be put to use when looking for a difficult to find specific road.


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Google Home Hub

Google Home Hub: Incredible Home Assistant

The Google Home Hub brings all the cool stuff about Google Home and repackages it into a small yet very powerful device with a 7″ display to help you get even more from Google Home. The Google Home Hub brings visual help to all the questions that you ask it. Use your voice to help set reminders and control a vast array of smart devices. However, with this particular device you get a visual aid, for example, see asking Google “How to tie a bow tie’ will present you with a helpful YouTube video, alongside a plethora of other YouTube videos available. YouTube you see on any other device is the same YouTube on Google Home Hub!

The device is incredibly well built, it is compact and can fit anywhere in the house and does not look out of place. Either in the kitchen, the bedroom or the living room! Google Home Hub has an inbuilt Ambient EQ Light Sensor too, so will adjust the screen to the colours and lighting in it’s environment. Therefore photos on the Google Home Hub will blend into the home decor!


The device will show you a whole range of things, such as YouTube videos, Google Calendar so you can see what you have planned or Google Maps so you can see what your commute is like! Ask Google what the weather is like and get a visual aid, ask Google for recipes and be shown a step by step guide in either text or video form!




Google photos look beautiful on the Home Hub and you can use your voice to pull down the images from Google photos to be displayed on the gorgeous screen. Even set the screen to display your most favoured images when the Home Hub is not in use as a screen saver! Machine Learning will pull down the best photos too, therefore avoiding any duplicates or blurry images.Google Home Hub can also show shared Google Photo albums automatically on the device of the person you’re sharing them with, therefore avoiding any upload hassles!

Smart Home

The device is also a very powerful smart home hub, consequently easily connecting to the hundreds of smart devices already available. Such as lights, thermostats or security cameras. Control it all via the Google Home App on your smart device, no need to be next to the Google Home Hub to manage all of your devices. Even manage them away from the home! So you can monitor and manage devices easily—including compatible lights, cameras, TVs, speakers you are always in control of your home! (Android / iOS)


One popular feature is the that the Google Home Hub can help you in the Kitchen! As Google Assistant can understand conversational speech, simply ask the device to convert various measurements and it will tell you! Completely hands free and at a glance! If you’re not too sure when reading a step by step guide on how to cook a particular recipe, simply ask! For example, “Hey Google, show me how to dice an onion” will show you a video on how to dice an onion!



Google Home Hub works with other ‘Made by Google’ devices too, such as Chromecast, Nest Doorbells, Nest Thermostats, Google Home Speakers. Furthermore Spotify works on Google Home Hub too!

(Google Press Release)

For more information on how Google’s Home Hub can help you at Christmas please click here!

Available in four colours from the Google Store—Chalk, Charcoal, Aqua, and Sand, Google Home Hub is £139 and available from the ​​Google Store​​!

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Can Google’s Home Hub Make Christmas Less Stressful?

Christmas is right around the corner! Wrapping, presents, parties, lots of organisation and STRESS?!? But, Can Google’s Home Hub Make Christmas Less Stressful? Some new research has been commissioned by Google which found how stressed Brits get at Christmas time.With nearly 2/3 of Brits finding Christmas at home and 1/3 of Brits wanting to hide in the bathroom to get some away from it all, furthermore 1 in 10 of us would rather swim naked with sharks than spend Christmas with the in-laws. It can be said that Brits find Christmas very stressful indeed!

Stress at Christmas

Google’s findings were very interesting indeed with wrapping weirdly shaped presents making up 20% of those surveyed worries. Putting on weight made up another 20%, while financial worries made up the most of peoples worries with 24% of those surveyed.  Furthermore Google even found that people would do their best to get away from people at Christmas time, for a bit of alone time. 45% of those surveyed would go to their bedroom and 8% would head to the pub! What Google found whilst undertaking this survey that a crazy amount of Brits do find it stressful over the festive period, a whopping 65%! The survey was conducted to find how people will be using Google’s home Hub to ease the stress. With Google’s Laurian Clemence stating:

“Google Home Hub was made for times like Christmas. Having family round over the festive season can be overwhelming, and this device is designed to fit in with your life by being your personal little helper when you really need it; from using recipes for sprouts while managing not to burn the turkey, to videos for wrapping oddly shaped gifts, to setting timers, entertaining the family and controlling the heating. As it’s powered by the Google Assistant, it works with a simple voice command – meaning that you can juggle all the different elements of Christmas at the same time, easily and seamlessly.”

The Stress Table

Below is a table of all the things that Google found were the most stressful around Christmas time, however, there was some that missed out! Finding things for the kids to do made up 7%, running out of alcohol 5% and having to play games with the family 10%.

Top Ten Reasons for a Festive Freak-Out





Not having any time for yourself



Cooking the Christmas dinner



Wrapping weirdly shaped presents



Putting on weight



Spending time with the in-laws



Pretending to like a present that you really don’t



Buying presents for people you rarely see



Decorating the house



Untangling the Christmas lights



The table above shows that Christmas dinner is third on the Stressmas list, the Home Hub can actually give you some help, (well we all know that!) but, there’s something special that you may not! Google have teamed up with Gordon Ramsay to create a hidden feature, you can find out what he likes to eat at home by saying ‘OK Google what does Gordon Ramsey eat at home?’ That’s not all either! Hidden content is also provided to you if you ask Google about prima ballerina Misty Copeland, famed for her performances in the festive ballet The Nutcracker, answering ‘OK Google, when did Misty Copeland start dancing?’ If you like to sing Christmas songs, you can ask Google for help with that too! Asking Google, ‘OK Google, how to sing like Nick Jonas?” will get you tips from the pop star himself!

(Google Press Release)

For more information on Google Home please click here!

Google Home Hub is £139 and available from the ​​Google Store​​!

Keep up to date with everything How To Kill An Hour by signing up to our newsletter by clicking here!

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Google maps Mario

Google Maps Mario!

Next week all of us will be able to celebrate Mario day (we weren’t even aware that there was a Mario Day, but we’re so glad there is!) Google are allowing you to drive as Mario! Well atleast look like you are. To celebrate MAR10 Day, Google have collaborated with the guys over at Nintendo to transform your car on Google Maps to look just like Mario in his go-kart. Don’t go racing on the roads though! No throwing bananas out the window either! Introducing Google maps Mario!

All you have to do is to update your Google Maps from the Google Play or App store. Or download the latest version from the appropriate app store if you don’t have it already. Then Simply click the yellow ‘?’ icon that’s found in the bottom right hand side of the Google Maps app. This is exactly the same if you are on either Google or iPhone. You’ll be presented with a prompt to enable Mario Time! (Of course you’re going to click yes!)

Now this has been enabled you’ll see that the navigation arrow that you normally see has been transformed to everyone’s favourite plumber!

The Mario function will start rolling out globally, the incentive has already begun and you’ll be able to use Mario for this week only! So make sure you get your Mario on and have some fun whilst driving! But remember always pay attention to the rules of the road and pay more attention to the road than your phone!

Google Maps Mario Destinations

We’d love to see where Google maps Mario has taken you, so why not, take a screenshot and send it into us at and Google, our username is @howtokillanhour as we’d love to see them too! We’re the same username across all platforms.  Please please please remember to avoid sharing any personal details like your place of work or your home address. Make sure you crop it real good before sending!!

To download Google Maps please click here Apple / Android

Google Maps x Ms Pac Man!

To celebrate April Fools day, Google has transformed Google Maps into a Ms. Pac Man Level!

Just go to Google Maps and click the Insert Coin Ms. Pac-Man button on the bottom left hand side of the screen and Google Maps will select an area of the screen to make your level, complete with dots and ghosts.

To listen to Marcus and the guys chatting about this please click here!

Google Maps Parking!

Google Maps already tells you how much traffic and congested your drive will be and it may soon tell you when you actually manage to arrive to your destination if there will be some parking spaces and the best place to park!

According to Android Police a new feature detailing just that was found in the 9.44 beta of Google Maps latest update. Spaces are listed as “easy,” “medium” and “limited”

Google owned app Waze introduced a similar feature of its own last year and while Waze can actually help you find a spot, Google’s own app only gives a general overview of the parking situation and it’s not yet clear as to how Google is getting this information.

How this is going to work? Is it limited to public places? Can it tell you if the road you live in is good for parking? No one knows for sure just yet. We’ll have to wait until the official release to find out but this is certainly interesting!

To download Google Maps please click here Apple / Android

To listen to the guys chatting about this please click here!


Episode 160 – Parkopedia

Check out your house from a decade ago!

There’s a time travel feature on Google Maps and here’s how to check how your home looked 10 years ago! Now this may not work for everyone but here’s how:

1. Log onto Google Maps on your PC or laptop

2. Type your post code

3. Grab the street view guy to your street and reposition him so you can see your house. 

Find the date in the top right hand corner

6. If there is a clock you’re able to time travel click on it!

7. Now you can see a drop down timeline of all the previous images! 

Is it any different?!

To listen to the guys chatting about this please click here! 

Google Maps KNOWS where you are!

Turns out Google knows everywhere you’ve been and has a log of it.

Google has a program that uses red dots on a map to mark where a user is and has been which of course makes it easier to identify them if anyone wishes to do so.

To see exactly what Google has been up to, just click here  and log in with the same Google account that you use on your phone and you will be able to see exactly where Google has a record of you from the day one of the current month that you’re in.

Even if you turn off all the privacy settings the folks over at Google still collect your info.

But you can reduce that by a following a few simple steps:

Go to the Google Maps Location History page and click the gear logo to access History settings.

Here you can disable or enable the service. (Disabling still doesn’t remove past history)

To erase the information Google Maps has on you over the past 30 days go to the Location History Page and use the pull down menu to highlight the history of up to 30 days. Below the Calendar you’ll see an option to delete your history from the time period you have chosen or to delete ALL history.

To listen to the guys chatting about this please click here!