The Google Maps Navigation Voice Changes and Everybody Feels Lost

Here’s a problem that Google Maps users have recently come across that is definitely worth an X Files episode.
Google Maps for iPhone 1 photo
Photo: Google
As the world’s number one navigation app, Google Maps comes with a voice guidance engine that helps you figure out which way to go. And needless to say, this is a super-important feature especially when driving, as it eliminates the distraction caused by the driver looking at the phone or at the head unit for instructions regarding the route.

Google Maps’ navigation supports male and female voices on both Android and iPhone, but as some discovered recently, the app itself might actually switch from one to the other for no clear reason.

More specifically, a bunch of users claim on the Google Maps forums that a recent change caused the navigation voice to switch from female to male. And now not only that they can’t go back, but they’re also finding it pretty difficult to use Google Maps.

I have my phone set to English (UK), and got turn by turn directions with a female voice with a UK accent. Today it changed to a male voice. I've had the same voice on my navigation for several years, and it's very hard to pick out the new voice over the sound of traffic, radio, and passengers,” one user says.

The bug report is filed under the iOS category, and technically, Google Maps for iPhone has never offered options to choose between male and female voices for navigation. However, you can essentially change the navigation voice by switching languages on the iPhone (a male voice is offered for English UK).

What’s weird, however, is that the change in Google Maps happened without any clear reason, and users complaining on the forums claim that the male voice was activated out of the blue, without any modifications on their devices, other than the typical app updates.

No such change has occurred in Google Maps on my device, as the female voice is still activated after the latest updates.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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