(Pocket-lint) – Waze shifted over to offering Google Assistant for voice control in the US in 2019, but the company has now extended that to iPhone users and more Android users globally.
Waze has previously offered in-app voice control and although it was obviously closely related to Google Assistant, it never quite seemed so effective. Open the app up today (for those in the UK at least) and you’ll find the Google Assistant logo sitting there instead.
If you don’t have it, head into the settings and look in “voice control” and you’ll see the Google Assistant option. There’s the option to support the “Ok Google” trigger and this works natively within Waze, so if you ask to go to a location it will very quickly search for a direct you to that destination through Waze.
You can ask for brands – Ok Google, take me to Nando’s – or you can ask for general destinations – Ok Google, take me to Buckingham Palace – or postcodes if you wish – Ok Google, take me to SW1X 7XL.
But being Google Assistant, it supports all the other Assistant functions on Android, like controlling your heating, setting reminders, accessing your calendar and a whole lot more. Sure, if you’re using your phone with Ok Google enabled, there’s a good chance you could already access these things anyway, but the native integration into Waze now feels really good.
Having the icon on the display means you can tap it if the hotword doesn’t work or if you don’t like saying Ok Google all the time. You can remove it if you prefer, but we’ve sometimes found that Google doesn’t trigger if we’re driving and listening to loud music – which is when having that button helps.
Of course, Google Assistant will also power that music for a generally seamless in-car experience.
“This partnership with Google Assistant reinforces Waze’s commitment to providing users with the smoothest drive,” said Yuval Shoshan, product manager at Waze.
“After the successful rollout of the integration for Android users in the US, we were excited to help even more people streamline their drive by expanding internationally. Now, all English language users of Waze on Android will be able to access this hands-free option when using Waze to minimize distractions and ensure that they have the best possible journey, keeping their eyes on the road at all times.”
Writing by Chris Hall.