Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

I can’t wait for this Google Maps update that shows building entrances

Published Mar 5th, 2024 9:16AM EST
Google Maps navigation.
Image: Google

If you buy through a BGR link, we may earn an affiliate commission, helping support our expert product labs.

Tell me if this has ever happened to you: Google Maps gets you to your destination, but the entrance is not where Google Maps navigation ends. You’re on your own once you’re in the vicinity. You might have to circle the block to find the entry, which isn’t clear from the directions you get. 

This happened to me just last week, and it’s pretty annoying. I had to get to a meeting, and the entrance was on a parallel street, not where Google Maps directed me to go. It wasn’t the first time I had to find the entry point on my own. 

Thankfully, Google is already testing a Google Maps version that shows building entrances. The feature is available on specific devices, so you won’t see it in action right away. But it seems to support buildings in multiple cities around the world. 

The feature was first found by Android Police on Google Maps version 11.17.0101 running on a Google Pixel 7a. It wasn’t available on other devices.

To see a building’s entrance, you have to zoom in on the destination to see building entrances. You would already do this in Google Maps on iPhone or Android when navigating to a place. 

If a building shows points of entry, you’d see them as round white circles that have an entry symbol in them. Or they might appear as a green arrow in a white circle. It looks like Google is currently testing different visual indicators for the feature. 

Android Police found that the feature worked with all sorts of buildings in different cities. But not all places had entrances showing. Also, some building entrances appeared in the wrong spot in Google Maps. 

We experimented with a few different kinds of buildings, ranging from hotels, doctors’ offices, supermarkets, hardware stores, cafes, and restaurants in New York City, Las Vegas, and San Francisco, as well as in Berlin, Germany.

That all sounds like normal behavior for a test. Google has to collect informaton about the entrances in buildings and then display it in Google Maps. It’s unclear how Google is doing it. The company could rely on data from businesses or simply use AI to figure out building entry points. Or, it could be a combination of both. I’m just speculating, however. 

Google is already offering this feature elsewhere in Google Maps. The app shows you where to enter and exit public transit hubs, like train and subway stations. The feature currently only works in select cities. 

I wouldn’t be surprised if support for building entrances rolled out progressively for different cities. But I believe this will be a great addition to Google Maps, greatly improving the accuracy of the navigation experience. 

Once Google rolls out the feature more widely, it’ll likely be available on both iPhone and Android.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.