Apps & Software

Google Maps for Android update adds elevation data for cyclists, lets you talk back to Navigation

Google is pushing out an update for Google Maps for Android that will make things a little bit easier for cyclists planning their journeys. Now, when you go to plan a route, it will show you the elevation for each of your route options. If you don’t like it, you can always switch to another, less mountainous route for your commute.

Google is also adding voice voice actions in navigation mode. This feature will let you ask Google different questions about your route along the way. You might want to know when (or what) the next turn is, or how long until you reach your destination. To find out, you just tap the little microphone icon on the bottom right and ask Google, “How long until I arrive?” Google will respond with the amount of time until your destination, information that was already offered in text form via Navigation. You can also use voice actions to turn certain features on and off, like traffic.

The voice commands are quite finicky. For example, Google couldn’t help us with “Are we there yet?” or “How much longer?” but the request did register. Google just said it couldn’t help with those requests. However, phrasing it a bit differently  — “How long until I arrive?” or “When will I get there?” — yielded a correct response. Occasionally, Google will give you suggestions as to what you can ask, which is pretty handy, but that seems to only happen when you’ve sufficiently stumped the Navigation feature.

We sideloaded the APK ourselves in order to access these new features, as waiting for the update to roll out via Google Play can be kind of a pain. A word of warning: The first time around, we had problems accessing Navigation, so we had to uninstall the update, and then reinstall the APK. Everything seemed to work the second time around.

[source]Android Police[/source]

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