Friday, September 30, 2016

Google Maps learns new voice commands via Ok Google

If you find yourself saying "Ok Google" ever more frequently, you'll be pleased to hear Google Maps can now understand more of your commands, such as finding nearby gas stations.

The Ok Google keyword can already be used system-wide in some devices, but it can now also be enabled on Google Maps and expanding the voice commands you can give.

This makes perfect sense, as voice actions make even more sense while you're driving and the last thing you'd need would be to divert your focus from the road to try and do something on your smartphone screen while cruising at 60mph (don't!) So, you can now just say "Ok Google" while driving around using Google Maps or driving mode, and ask for things like "navigate home", "show/hide traffic", "what's my ETA", "what road is this", "how's traffic ahead", "avoid/enable tolls", "find gas stations", and more.

Very nice features... but for Waze users like myself, the main question is... does Google have a plan to eventually combine its two navigation apps into just a single one? Or will those projects keep evolving in separate ways, with one having some of the features we'd like to have on the other, and vice-versa?

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