Google Maps for Android adds 'OK Google' voice, navigation commands and other search tricks

The new features will make your phone a more helpful assistant during your next trip since you won't have to mess with the screen.

google maps commands
Credit: Google Lat Long

Next time you’re wondering where the nearest gas station is, the answer will be just a voice command away.

Google announced that it’s enabling a host of new voice commands in Google Maps for Android that will allow you to search for a locations, get details about your route, or even call your mother without the need to touch your phone.

The impact on you: While there are many good apps to help you go hands-free, Google Maps probably dominates your usage while driving. These features will allow you to mount your phone on the dashboard or set it on the console and not need to touch it while still accessing all of the useful information.

Get ready for more ‘OK Google’

To make sure you are ready to try these out, first check that you have hands-free voice commands turned on. Head to the Google app and go to Settings > OK Google detection and enable While driving. This is rolling out on the server side, so if you don’t see it right away then be sure to check back again.

ok google while driving Google Lat Long

Make sure you have the while driving setting turned on so you can get going with voice commands.

Once this is flipped on, you’ll be able to ask Google if there are gas stations nearby, where the nearest coffee shop is, or what is the upcoming turn in your navigation route. You can also perform non-Maps related commands, like making a phone call or playing music. It brings a wider array of voice capabilities to you while you’re inside of a navigation session.

maps gas stations Google Lat Long

Ask Google maps for gas stations during your next road trip.

Here’s the full list of voice commands, direct from Google: 

Searches

  • How do I get to [name of place]?
  • Show me a map of [name of place].

Directions and travel

  • ”Mute.” or “Mute voice guidance.”
  • ”Unmute.” or “Unmute voice guidance.”
  • ”Show traffic.” or “Hide traffic.”
  • ”Show satellite.” or “Hide satellite.”
  • ”Navigate home.” or “Navigate to Starbucks.”
  • ”Show route overview.” or “Show alternate routes.”
  • ”What road is this?”
  • ”What’s my next turn?”
  • ”What’s my ETA?”
  • ”How’s traffic ahead?” or “How’s traffic to home?”
  • ”Avoid tolls.” or “Enable tolls.”
  • ”Avoid highways.” or “Enable highways.”
  • ”Avoid ferries.” or “Enable ferries.”
  • ”Exit navigation.”

Other commands

  • ”Call Mom.”
  • ”Find gas stations.” or “Find restaurants.”
  • ”Send a text to Larry.” or “Send an SMS to Sergey, I’m feeling lucky.”
  • ”What’s the weather like?” or “How’s the weather in Seattle?”
  • ”Play some jazz.” or “Play happy birthday on Google Play Music.”
  • ”What’s the closest hotel?”
  • ”When’s my next meeting?”

This story, "Google Maps for Android adds 'OK Google' voice, navigation commands and other search tricks" was originally published by Greenbot.

To comment on this article and other PCWorld content, visit our Facebook page or our Twitter feed.
Shop Tech Products at Amazon
Notice to our Readers
We're now using social media to take your comments and feedback. Learn more about this here.