Google Maps adds hands-free voice input to make driving safer
Google has announced that Maps on Android now officially supports hands-free voice commands, allowing users engaged in navigation to interrupt the helpful narrator to ask the locations of nearby gas stations, or to reroute on the fly to avoid highways.
A long time coming, Google Maps has for a long time supports voice search, but now the app responds to “OK Google” commands at any time, making it considerably easier, and safer, to interact with the app while actually, you know, driving.
Enabling the feature is relatively easy:
- Open the overflow menu and tap Settings.
- Tap OK Google detection.
- Enable “While driving”.
The benefit of this feature is obvious, especially if you’ve ever been in a position where you need to make a change to your navigation route while stuck in traffic or driving down a highway at 60mph.
Google has a list of commands supported by the feature, but many of them, like “How’s traffic?” or “Navigate home” are fairly obvious. But they could also be the difference between an accident and a quiet, uneventful ride home.