Google Maps for Android rolling out new voice input

The Google Maps app for Android has, for years now, had the same old voice input that’s slow and not as accurate as Google’s latest offerings. Finally that’s changing, as Google Maps is rolling out a new voice input experience powered by Google Assistant.

Rolling out widely now on Android devices, Google Maps has a new voice input method. The new voice input replaces “Speech Services,” a component that was used by many Android apps for voice input years ago, but has been outdated both in its functionality and its interface for quite some time.

The new Google Maps voice input is powered by Google Assistant. When you first trigger it, a new interface pops up saying that there are “faster ways to search on Maps.”

The new interface pops up in a card that takes up most of the display. There are shortcuts to search for restaurants, gas stations, and similar categories, which does seem a little redundant. But the big perk here is that voice search is much faster and there’s now visual feedback. You’ll see a live display of what you say and recognition is much faster. Commands such as “navigate to” also feel drastically quicker overall in our brief testing.

This change appears to be server-side, and is showing up for us on the latest Google Maps for Android version 11.90. It seems to have started rolling out yesterday, as was spotted on Telegram.

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