Google Maps just added 3D Maps to navigation — here’s how to activate it

Google Maps app icon on iPhone
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Google Maps has recently added a “show 3D buildings” option for when you're traveling, according to known leaker Assemble Debug, who found a toggle for the feature in version 125 of the Google Maps beta.

The feature appears to be getting a full rollout on the Android version of Google Maps. 

It should be noted that Google Maps has previously offered a 3D buildings toggle option as a layer, but only for viewing the map outside of navigation mode. The 3D building layer is relatively basic, only offering simple 3D geometry instead of high-textured images like you see in Google Maps' Immersive View mode. We'd assume the 3D navigation mode will follow the example of the former.

The new update also offers updates for weather and air quality, real-time battery information for electric vehicles and several other AI updates.

How to enable 3D buildings in Google Maps

Follow these steps in the mobile version of Google Maps to turn on the new 3D buildings feature. (These steps show how to enable the feature on Android; 3D buildings does not yet appear to be an option for the iOS version of the app.)

1. Go to Google Map settings

(Image: © Future)

In the Google Map, tap on your Google profile. (It's the picture or initial in the upper right corner of the search bar.) On the pop-up window, tap on Settings.

2. Select Navigation Settings

(Image: © Future)

Scroll down the list of settings to find and tap on Navigation Settings.

3. Turn on the 3D buildings feature

(Image: © Future)

Scroll down on the Navigation Settings page to find the Show 3D Buildings option. Turn on the switch to enable the feature.

What else is coming to Google Maps?

Google Maps is easily the staple navigation app for most people, and Google is constantly working on updates. For instance, one update promised to launch in time for the summer vacation season will add lists of recommended attractions that will appear when entering select cities. 

Meanwhile, Google's also testing adding entrance icons to select buildings in maps. This addition would make it easier to know which entrance is the correct one to use, which is especially beneficial when dealing with similar-looking buildings with poor markers. 

3D maps can make navigating certain areas easier, especially when it comes to figuring out the relative position and size of buildings and other landmarks. So we certainly can't wait for this feature to hit the stable version of Google Maps. In the meantime, though, we have other Maps tips to share, such as 9 hidden Google Map features that everyone should know.

More from Tom's Guide

Category
Arrow
Arrow
Back to Mobile Cell Phones
Brand
Arrow
RAM
Arrow
Storage Size
Arrow
Colour
Arrow
Condition
Arrow
Price
Arrow
Any Price
Showing 10 of 160 deals
Filters
Arrow
Our Review
1
Google Pixel 8 Pro - Unlocked...
Amazon
(256GB)
Our Review
2
Samsung - Galaxy S24 Ultra...
Best Buy
(128GB)
Our Review
4
Google Pixel 8 Pro 128 GB in...
Visible
Our Review
5
Google Pixel 8 Pro - 128 GB
AT&T Mobility
(512GB 16GB RAM)
Our Review
9
OnePlus 12,16GB...
Amazon
(128GB)
Our Review
10
Google Pixel 8 Pro - Unlocked...
Amazon
Load more deals
Staff Writer

Josh is a staff writer for Tom's Guide and is based in the UK. He has worked for several publications but now works primarily on mobile phones. Outside of phones, he has a passion for video games, novels, and Warhammer.