Google Maps adds voice commands for hands-free navigation
Google Maps adds voice commands for hands-free navigation

Google just introduced improvement to its voice search feature using the Google Maps app. Yes, Google on Thursday added “OK Google” voice command activation for hands-free directions. From now, users would be able to better search and use Google Maps without having to type in the queries.

Google secretly updated its Maps application for Android without any official announcement.

Now that the app has got the long-awaited feature, it is sure a big deal for users as they won’t have to tap the microphone icon every time before speaking OK Google while driving.

The company said that you can now enter navigation mode or driving mode in the latest version of Google Maps app. You can also say OK Google, followed by a voice command to initiate navigation to a new destination, get an alternative route, or even change driving settings. This way you won’t have to tap or look at the screen.

Once the update is installed on your device, you will also be enabled to verbally ask Google Maps queries that you’d looked at your smartphone’s screen otherwise, to see the answer to, for instance, Is there traffic at G.T Road? Or What’s my next turn?

Good thing is that the list of capabilities you are able to enjoy in Map’s search recognition functionality goes on and on. It’s a two-way risk; the same endless list might feel bothersome and too overwhelming to users as well.

Google has released a cheat sheet with all necessary commands to guide you through the new changes.

Here are some of the commands from Google Maps cheat sheet:

  • “Mute” or “Mute voice guidance”
  • “Unmute” or “Unmute voice guidance”
  • “What road is this?”
  • “What’s my next turn?”
  • “Navigate home” or “Navigate to Starbucks”
  • “Show route overview” or “Show alternate routes”
  • “What’s my ETA?”
  • “Show traffic” or “Hide traffic”
  • “Show satellite” or “Hide satellite”
  • “How’s traffic ahead?” or “How’s traffic to home?”
  • “Avoid tolls” or “Enable tolls”
  • “Avoid highways” or “Enable highways”
  • “Avoid ferries” or “Enable ferries”
  • “What’s the weather like?”
  • “Exit navigation”

There are some additional voice commands in updated Google Maps to simplify other task, including:

  • “Call Mom”
  • “Play some jazz” or “Play happy birthday on Google Play Music”
  • “What’s the closest hotel?”
  • “Find gas stations” or “Find restaurants”
  • “What’s the weather like?” or “How’s the weather in Seattle?”
  • “Send a text to Larry” or “Send a SMS to Sergey, I’m feeling lucky”
  • “When’s my next meeting?”

A few users reported that OK Google commands do not come enabled by default after the update is completed on their devices. If this is your case, just open overflow menu, tap on Settings, and toggle on the icon of OK Google detection.

You can also select the While driving settings to say OK Google while navigating in Google Maps. If you want the functionality to be available anywhere on your device, turn on the settings for Always On.

NOTE: On some devices, the Always On settings might be termed as From any screen.

Read more about Google at: Best Google Docs tips and tricks you must use to work faster

Google Maps adds voice commands for hands-free navigation
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Google Maps adds voice commands for hands-free navigation
Google Maps is just updated with voice commands. Now you can enjoy hands-free navigation and searches in the Google Maps app for Android.
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Ankita Gairola is an R&D Engineer at SoftwareVilla. She grew up flirting with available technologies and happens to be a dynamic writer with flair of explaining complex technologies with ease to readers from all walks of life. A gadget geek, Gairola spends a major part of each day outscoring latest technologies, playing Xbox and reading books. She learned the ropes to effective writing in her very early days and has penned over 5000 articles for different press and media sources.