Update: Google Maps is adding a new widget to Android, and it could shape the future of Android widgets on Google Maps
In case you hadn’t heard, Google Maps’ Street View feature is now 15 years old. Soon enough it’ll be old enough to get its own learner’s permit, and take one of the famous Street View cars out for a spin. But right now Google Maps will give you the chance to drive one around. Or, at least, pretend to.
Some of you might already know that Google Maps lets you change the appearance of the blue arrow that represents you during navigation. You can normally change it into one of three cars, but to celebrate Street View’s birthday Google’s letting you swap in a Street View car.
Here’s how to drive around in the Street view car in Google Maps:
1. Open Google Maps and find a location you want to travel to. Hit the Directions button at the bottom of the screen
Be sure to set up directions from your current location, otherwise this won’t work.
2. When the direction preview screen pops up, look for a little white car next to the Start button. Tap it
3. The above screen will show up, and you need to press OK
Voila! Your in-app vehicle is now the Google Street view car. Or at least, a very small cartoonish version of it.
It’s also possible to change the design of your vehicle mid-trip. Start by tapping the blue arrow, or wherever vehicle you previously selected.
A small menu pops up with the different vehicle design options. iPhone users will have the Street View car as the first option, while Android users will have to scroll right to pick it.
This isn’t the only change Google Maps has made to celebrate Street View’s 15th birthday either. One of the best hidden Google Maps features is the fact the Street View Pegman will change appearance in certain locations, or for big events.
Right now, because it’s his birthday period, desktop users will see that he’s wearing a party hat and carrying some balloons.