Google Maps update brings enhanced voice controls and elevation information for bicycling


Google Maps 8.2 update

Google Maps users (that should be just about everyone) will find a nice update rolling out now in the Google Play Store. Version 8.2 brings a host of new features, the biggest being the ability to execute voice commands from inside the app. This can be done by clicking on the new microphone icon in the search bar, used to execute commands like “navigate to” or “show traffic.” What’s more is you’ll find another microphone while in navigation mode (towards the bottom left).

While that sounds extremely useful, the number of voice actions are pretty limited at the moment and require users to experiment with what works. Basic commands like asking Maps to show routes or give a route overview works fine. Even display traffic or show the time left until you reach your destination. The main problem we found is that, unlike Google Search hotword detection, you’ll need to physically touch the microphone icon to engage voice controls — they’re not done purely by voice.

There’s also elevation info for bicyclists to help avoid unnecessary uphill climbs when necessary. Routes will not only show elevations but the distance of the elevation changes as well. This makes it easy for cyclists to pick the easiest route based on their current elevation (see above image).

As usual, you can either wait for the new Maps to become available on your device in the coming days, or download our 3rd party link down below. Safe travels!

Download Google Maps 8.2: MediaFire

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. Does this work internationally?

  2. for the “need to touch mic” problem wouldn’t the recent system wide “ok google” update help with that?

    1. In theory, no because “OK Google” launches Google Search/Now which has a more vast array of search abilities and features to pull from while this voice commands within the Maps app is likely restricted to Maps related features. As an example, you probably can’t touch that Mic and set a reminder just as you couldn’t invoke the OK Google search and say “Show Traffic” and expect it to display traffic in Maps, without exiting, rather than performing a search and displaying it in Google Now as it currently does.

      I’d like it to work that way though and I’ll be giving it a shot asap. Hopefully I’m wrong.

  3. Am I the only one that actually want a GPS with built in Google Map, I’m sure it’d would have to be connected somehow but , if they made it id buy it ASAP , I’m tired of using my grumpy GPS

    1. The issue is their maps, as great as they are they aren’t as good as the traditional GPS units. GM has improved in navigating a lot recently.

      I use a Garmin Nuvi at work and it’s great for navigating me through the city, finding me alternate routes to avoid traffic, etc. The best part is that it doesn’t need to be connected, unlike the data dependent GM.

  4. Pretty useful. I hated having to go through multiple actions to do something. Voice makes everything easier.

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