Google is making serious investments in voice search. After launching voice controlled searches on google.com and its Android and iPhone apps, Google is bringing voice search to Google Maps in the US.
It can be very annoying to lose track of where you are on a road trip, without a soul or landmark in sight. Even city roads can be misleading at times and most of us have had the nightmare experience of driving around in circles.
But there’s good news for direction-challenged folks. Google Maps now comes with two additional features that will make your journey, whether it’s a road trip or a city commute, easier.
Users in India can now access Google Maps Navigation (Beta) that comes with voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation and even live traffic updates. It’s a free download for anyone with a smart phone that runs Android 2.2 or higher.
Using its massive database (partly created by users), it helps you chart a route using roads and landmarks.
You can even speak your destination into your phone and have your route set for you. A country-specific option lets you set the voice to an Indian accent for easier comprehension.
“Whether you’re heading to the Bengaluru airport for a business trip or visiting Agra’s world-famous Taj Mahal for a weekend of sightseeing with friends, Google Maps Navigation has you covered,” say Darren Baker, product manager and Suren Ruhela, senior program manager, Google Maps, in a statement posted on the Google India blog.
For those who have Google Maps installed on their phones, Navigator comes in-built (it’s the blue upward-pointing arrow). In addition, Google also gives you live traffic updates in six cities — Bengaluru, Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Pune and Hyderabad — and their surrounding suburbs. The bumper-to-bumper situation is shown in a simple colour-coded scheme — “Red for significant congestion, yellow for minor slow-downs, and green for free-flowing traffic,” adds the statement. According to the live data available, the app will set an appropriate route for you.