Google has rolled out a new feature that provides extra-detailed spoken navigation when you’re walking, helping you reach your destination more safely.
Detailed Voice Guidance, as it’s officially known, was launched to coincide with World Sight Day, and is intended to help people with sight disorders navigate unfamiliar routes with confidence.
The new feature lets you know how long it will be until your next turning so you can be prepared for it, and tells you which direction you’re walking in. You’ll also be warned if you’re approaching a major intersection or crossroads.
Detailed Voice Guidance is also the first Maps feature built from the ground up by people with vision impairments.
Legally blind Google Business Analyst Wakana Sugiyama says that building tools like this for everyone is core to Google’s work.
Detailed Voice Guidance can also help sighted people get around more safely. For example, it lets you keep your phone in your pocket and out of sight. Especially in places where thieves operate, and means you won’t be distracted by your phone’s screen while crossing busy roads.
How to Activate It
If you want to take advantage of Google Maps Detailed Voice Guidance, you will likely have to wait for a server-side update. Once the update lands, you will be able to enable the setting in only a few clicks.
Activating the new mode is simple; – just open the ‘Settings’ menu in Google Maps, tap ‘Navigation’; scroll down to the bottom of the list until you reach ‘Walking options’ and select ‘Detailed Voice Guidance’.
It’s great to see Google taking steps to make its products more accessible – particularly Google Maps. Which has the potential to make people more independent, and let them explore new places with confidence.
Hopefully more accessibility options are on the horizon.