One if the biggest features that iOS users wish would come to Google Maps is the ability to use Siri to get voice directions. The good news is that this capability has arrived…sort of.
Google has updated Google Maps for iPhone to include the ability to get directions using your voice. The app’s search bar at the top now has a microphone icon that you can tap on to bring up the Google Now voice search interface.
It’s not as easy and quick to use as Siri, but it’s certainly an added feature that will get a lot of use if you prefer Google Maps on iPhone over the stock Apple Maps.
The iPhone allows you to activate Siri anywhere and get directions without having to open up the Maps app first, making it a quicker and easier option overall, but if you prefer using Google Maps, the new voice feature is a big addition.
Here’s how to use Google Maps with your voice on your iPhone.
Using Google Maps Voice Search on iPhone
The Google Maps app is easy to use to begin with, and the added voice search feature will be familiar to anyone who has used Google voice search on their devices. The voice search function uses the same Google Now interface that’s featured on Android devices, as well as in the Google iOS app.
To use the voice feature in Google Maps to get instant directions without typing anything in, simply tap on the microphone icon up in the search bar. You’ll then to give Google Maps permission to use your iPhone’s microphone by tapping OK to give permission.
From there, simply just say Directions to and then wherever you want to go. So for example, if I wanted to go to Starbucks, I’d say Directions to Starbucks. However, you’ll have to be careful here, because Google Maps may route you to a random Starbucks that may not be the nearest one. Instead, you have to say something like Directions to the nearest Starbucks in order to get routed to the closest Starbucks near you.
After you say where you want to go, Google Maps will automatically pop up directions, and from there you can start turn-by-turn navigation.
Voice capabilities in map apps is something that is incredibly helpful, more so than other apps that come with voice search functionality, since you don’t have to type in an annoyingly long address using the small on-screen keyboard. All you can do instead is just speak the address and off you go.
I use Siri mostly just for getting directions to somewhere without having to type it all in, but I usually prefer using Google Maps due to its more comprehensive maps data. However, now that Google Maps has voice capabilities, I might not end up using Apple Maps anymore.
Of course, both Apple Maps and Google Maps still have their flaws, but I find Google Maps to be the lesser of the flawed. And now that I can get directions by using just my voice, Google Maps may get more usage on my iPhone in the future.