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Google Maps for Android Update Brings 'OK Google' Detection and Support for New Voice Commands

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Google Maps for Android Update Brings 'OK Google' Detection and Support for New Voice Commands
  • The command support eliminates the need to touch the smartphone
  • Maps will now respond to the OK Google hotword
  • Users can now change route, and ask enroute questions with the command

Google Maps for Android has finally received the much-needed 'OK Google' hotword recognition support in its app. This means users can now ask its smartphone to start navigation, change navigation, or add another route, just by preceding the corresponding voice command with the 'OK Google' hotword.

This hotword recognition support will eliminate the need to touch the smartphone, or tap on the microphone icon to start the voice assistant. For example, while users are driving, they can now just shout out 'OK Google', followed by the action the needs Maps to perform, and the Android app will oblige dutifully.

This also enables full voice assistance, which means you can now ask Google Maps whether you have to take this turn, or when is the next turn ahead. Speech commands like "What's my ETA?, What road is this? Find gas stations. Navigate to Starbucks. Navigate to Home" are now available with this update. Support for these commands will prove to be very useful while driving especially.

The OK Google command should work for all Android users automaticall, once their Google Maps app is updated. However, in case it doesn't work, head over to Settings and switch on 'OK Google' hotword detection.

Google Maps recently got a revamp and now dons a more user-friendly design. The changes included a cleaner and simpler look with balanced colour schemes, and a new feature called 'areas of interest' that highlights "places where there's a lot of activities and things to do". These areas of interest are busier areas of the map that will be shaded in orange for users to zoom and peek, and make a pit stop if they will.


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Tasneem Akolawala is a Senior Reporter for Gadgets 360. Her reporting expertise encompasses smartphones, wearables, apps, social media, and the overall tech industry. She reports out of Mumbai, and also writes about the ups and downs in the Indian telecom sector. Tasneem can be reached on Twitter at @MuteRiot, and leads, tips, and releases can be sent to tasneema@ndtv.com. More
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