This may be one of those features you never knew you were missing. After all, if you’re using walking navigation or the like, Google Maps has long attempted to give you an accurate read regarding which direction you’re facing. However, it’s never been that optimized of a feature, and they left it out of the default map overview.
Beta testers have been able to play around with this more advanced form of direction detection for some time now, but now it’s rolling out to the populace at large.
A pretty clever move on Google’s part is the use of a cone of view indicator rather than the single arrow. Although it’s nice that it kind of makes you feel like a bad guy walking around in a stealth game’s mini-map, it’s actually a useful feature. The narrowness of the cone correlates with how well your device is calibrated for direction.
To increase accuracy, all you have to do is swim your phone through the air in a figure eight as demonstrated below.
What’s cool is that you don’t have to go into any settings to do this. You can perform a calibration swim anytime you want while the app is running, and your direction calibration will be increased. Pretty nifty.
What are your thoughts regarding Google’s new direction indicator on Google Maps? Let us know in the comments below