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Google Maps implementing voice commands

Google Maps is implementing voice commands.

The popular map service now allows users to get directions from the Google Maps app with their voice, rather than typing out the address of their chosen location.

According to Gizmodo, the app works with Assistant, meaning the phrases used include "Hey Google, take me to work" and "Hey Google, take me to the nearest petrol station", which will then boot the app into locating the place a user wants to be, and bringing up the correct directions.

The addition will likely be useful for anyone using maps whilst driving, although it may cause a major blow to sat nav companies, as people will be able to navigate the world around them with just their phone.

Talking to Maps while a user is navigating automatically updates the destination, and users can still do other hands-free tasks like saying "Hey Google, text mum that I'm running late" and "Hey Google, play my driving playlist."

The Google Assistant for Maps is available now on both iOS and Android, but the Maps app may need to be updated before it can be used.

Meanwhile, Google Maps has also been testing an augmented reality (AR) function, which shows Maps appearing on the lower half of a phone's screen as the top half navigates the user's real-world surroundings.

It was reported by the Wall Street Journal that the system was useful for moments in which a user is getting off the subway and doesn't know which way to go to get out of the station, but shouldn't be used to long distance navigation.

The app currently orientates itself based on surrounding landmarks, before pointing the user in the right direction, and then tells users to put their phones down while walking to avoid colliding with other passers by.

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