Google Maps navigation finally learns to shut up when it should
On a day-to-day basis, helping us navigate around the world has got to be one of the most useful tricks our smartphones can pull off, showing us not just how to get from A to B, but also analyzing the best routes available, to say nothing of tapping into public transit options. And being the safe drivers we are, not wanting to distract ourselves by constantly glancing at a screen, voice navigation has been a huge blessing. Or at least, it can be, up until the point it becomes so annoying we’re tempted to throw our phone out the window. We may not yet have a fix for the rapid-fire directions Google Maps will fire off when you’re making a few simple turns in succession, but this week’s update to the app does manage to fix one big source of frustration, allowing you to tell the app to shut up when you’re trying to listen to someone else.
Tucked away in navigation settings with the latest Google Maps release you’ll find an option to “play voice during phone calls.” One quick tap, and the navigation voice is silenced when you’re otherwise occupied on a call.
Granted, this puts the onus on you to keep aware of where you’re going when chatting hands-free, and we suppose raises the possibility that you get off a call and find yourself forced to pull over, wondering, “where the heck am I now?” But for those of you who have found yourself asking over and over for a caller to repeat themselves as they fight against incessant navigator chatter, Google Maps 9.20.0 might just be the salvation you’ve been waiting for.