Google Maps Updated For Visually Impaired Users

Google Maps rolling out detailed voice guidance for walking directions

It is now only available in English in the United States and Japanese in Japan, but the company said that support for additional languages and countries is on the way.

Google Maps is a great help for all of us and now we don't need to ask anyone regarding any way when we have this best guidance. It is the first feature in Google Maps that has been built from the ground up by and for individuals with impaired vision.

For the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, today is World Sight Day - a time to think about how we can prevent avoidable vision diseases and reducing external impacts for people living with visual impairment or blindness.

Wakana Sugiyama, a Business Analyst for Google worked on the app as an early advisor and tester.

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For those of you in the USA and Japan, Detailed Voice Guidance rolls out from today on Android and iOS. It is now only available in English in the United States and Japanese in Japan, but this is set to change.

Maps can now proactively inform users if they are on the correct path, the distance until the next turn, and the direction in which they're walking. To improve user safety and comfort, Maps will also let a user know if they are nearing a large intersection and encourage them to cross with caution. But people who can see just fine can also take advantage of the new feature to enjoy walking directions without having to continuously check the screen for information. "And if I accidentally leave my route, I'll get a spoken notification that I'm being re-routed", added Sugiyama.

It's good to see that Google is experimenting with new features and technology to make its services more accessible to a wider range of audience.

To turn on the feature, go to Google Maps settings and select "Navigation"; scroll down to enable "Detailed voice guide" (beneath the "Walking options" heading). Choose "Navigation, ' then toggle on 'Detailed voice guidance" at the bottom of the list.

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