Google Maps adds in-navigation voice controls and more

Google Maps adds in-navigation voice controls and more
The updates just keep on coming. Google has tended to push new updates on Wednesdays, but that isn't so much of a rule though. Last night, Google started rolling out a new update for Google Maps for Android that is adding new voice commands that you can use while navigating and some added info for cyclists.

The in-navigation controls are something of a mixed bag though. There are new options so you can get more information on upcoming traffic, estimated ETA, alternate routes, or navigate to a new destination. The trouble is that it isn't hands-free. You'll need to tap a small microphone icon on the screen in order to get your phone listening for a new command. This will likely change over time, but it is always better to have hands-free controls when driving and using navigation. The list of commands is solid for a start, and you know we've been hoping for more full-fledged voice controls in apps. 

The other change is one that has more of a targeted audience, specifically cyclists. The new version of Google Maps will now display elevations along your biking route. You'll be able to see all of the elevation changes along the way, and how many feet the elevation changes as you go. The elevation data appears to be coming directly from Google as well, and doesn't require that your device has a barometer. 

The update is rolling out now, and should hit your device sometime in the next week. 

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11 Comments

1. mmmanuuu

Posts: 403; Member since: Nov 05, 2013

Okay !

2. Johnabis

Posts: 61; Member since: Feb 17, 2011

Google maps hasn't been the same since the last major update. Example it will put me on another street for 10 seconds as the GPS isn't as accurate anymore,. then it Will recalculate back to the correct street but update my route so its takes the longer route! the older version did not do this before.

6. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

If it is showing you on the wrong street, that is because of your phone not the maps software. Basically your location services are reporting your location more loosely than they should. Try enabling wifi when using GPS since having even a disconnected wifi active allows it to triangulate your position using available nearby wifi networks.

9. ManusImperceptus

Posts: 724; Member since: Jun 10, 2014

Not so much the phone as the OS, which again brings us back to Google... ;-)

3. NLiveris

Posts: 12; Member since: Feb 13, 2012

These all seem like great features but maps is getting a bit fat and bloated. Unless you have one of the newest phones and 100% full signal strength on an unloaded tower, maps takes forever to open. and the "new" Google maps on the desktop is practically unusable, even when my Windows Experience Index is 7.3.

5. 90ninjas unregistered

Google maps on desktop works fine for me and I have a WEI of 4.8....

7. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

He does have a point, the windows version is a bit heavy right now. But they just switched to this new polymer style version so it will probably be ironed out in a month or so.

4. DevilsAdvocate

Posts: 47; Member since: Jun 28, 2014

Apple would say Meh!!!

8. Jinto

Posts: 436; Member since: Jan 15, 2014

Of course they would, they think the world revolves around them

10. tedkord

Posts: 17298; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Then they'd file patents for the exact same thing.

11. MpowerSkills

Posts: 47; Member since: Feb 19, 2011

Google Maps keeps asking me to sign in again when I start up the app on my iphone.

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