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Google Maps adds in-navigation voice controls and more

Posted: , by Michael H.

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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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posted on 18 Jul 2014, 13:07

1. mmmanuuu (Posts: 403; Member since: 05 Nov 2013)

Okay !

posted on 18 Jul 2014, 13:19

2. Johnabis (Posts: 58; Member since: 17 Feb 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.

posted on 18 Jul 2014, 14:01 5

6. Finalflash (Posts: 3527; Member since: 23 Jul 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.

posted on 18 Jul 2014, 14:57

9. ManusImperceptus (Posts: 724; Member since: 10 Jun 2014)

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

posted on 18 Jul 2014, 13:21

3. NLiveris (Posts: 12; Member since: 13 Feb 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.

posted on 18 Jul 2014, 13:55

5. 90ninjas (unregistered)

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

posted on 18 Jul 2014, 14:06

7. Finalflash (Posts: 3527; Member since: 23 Jul 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.

posted on 18 Jul 2014, 13:22

4. DevilsAdvocate (Posts: 47; Member since: 28 Jun 2014)

Apple would say Meh!!!

posted on 18 Jul 2014, 14:19 3

8. Jinto (Posts: 436; Member since: 15 Jan 2014)

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

posted on 18 Jul 2014, 15:51 3

10. tedkord (Posts: 14134; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)

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

posted on 18 Jul 2014, 18:11

11. MpowerSkills (Posts: 46; Member since: 19 Feb 2011)

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

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