Google Maps App Tip: How to Use Voice Search To Activate Google Maps Without Siri or Jail Break


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Jul 7, 2008
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One of the most popular iOS related topics I see on Twitter this past month is "How to use Siri and Google Maps together for directions," or "How to trick Siri into using Google Maps without jail breaking." But some folks may not know that there's a way to activate Google Maps for iOS via voice command that doesn't involve Siri or Apple Maps at all. To do it, you have to download Google's other free app, "Google Search," which IMO, is actually better than Siri (YMMV ).

So the steps are:

1) Download the "Google Search" app in the App Store.
2) Open the app, hit the microphone icon and say "Navigate to _____" or "Locate _____."
3) Given Google's vast POI database, you should get the right result spoken back to you complete with a map snapshot. Touch the map or touch the arrow navigation icon to pull up directions.
4) This will open open up the web version of Google Maps mobile in Safari. At the top, (as long as you have the Google Maps app also installed) you will see an option to open up the very same search in the Google Maps app. Click that. (Otherwise, you stay in the web version of Google Maps, which is good, but nowhere near as functional as the dedicated app)
5) And you're on your way. You can choose from driving, public transit, or walking directions.

So there you have it. A way to completely bypass Siri and Apple on their own device, using strictly Google voice search to open up Google Maps. Eventually the Google Search app will integrate completely with the Google Maps app so you won't have to go to Safari first, but for now, this works. IMO, it beats following every voice command with "via transit." Again, YMMV.

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