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How to disable vocal alerts for turn-by-turn directions in Google Maps

If you use Google Maps to go places you’re not accustomed to, then you’re likely familiar with navigation and the turn-by-turn vocal alerts you hear while you go. These prompts say things like “turn left” or “stay right” as you’re driving, working as an audible guide to get you to your destination.

Vocal alerts are enabled in the app by default, and while they are usually useful, not everyone likes them. You can turn down your device’s volume to combat them, but doing this will also impact any music you might have playing and doesn’t yield satisfactory results.

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how you can properly mute vocal alerts in the Google Maps app.

Google Maps for iOS updated with searching along route and Nearby Traffic widget

Google today pushed an update to its native Maps app for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, adding a pair of new features whilst bumping version number to 4.25.0. Like with Apple Maps, Google’s app now supports searching for points of interest along your route while in navigation mode. In addition, you can also see traffic information on your Home/Lock screen and in the Notification Center with a handy new Nearby Traffic widget.

Is watchOS 4 finally going to get the Home screen right?

Much was made of Apple’s third major software overhaul for watchOS this year with Control Center and the Dock seeing the light of day, finally making for a much beefier experience on our wrists. The one other central interface of Apple Watch received no love though, meaning users are still embroiled in a love-hate relationship with their watch’s Home screen. It is easy to let patience wear thin with respect to Apple not pushing the Home screen on Watch forward, then again it took Apple more than a couple of years to refine the iPhone’s Home screen, just to put matters into perspective.

Regardless of the pace at which Apple is planning to shape up the screen accessed by pressing the crown, design and functionality changes are eventually going to take place. It’s a highly emotive topic and any watch owner will be able to raise one or two aspects they either dislike about the Home screen or wished to be fundamentally different. Personally, with the arrival of my snappier Series 2 watch, the Home screen is about the only qualm I still have with Apple’s youngest product line. So there, let me add my voice to what the Home screen in watchOS 4 needs to implement in order to catch up with the rest of the operating system.

Apple hires a satnav expert who holds a patent for preventing car collisions

Revered software engineer Sinisa Durekovic has joined Apple in an unspecified role in October, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, citing sources.

Durekovic was charged with managing the development of advanced satellite navigation systems used by luxury carmakers such as BMW AG, Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen AG’s Audi, suggesting another possible mapping push for the Cupertino giant.

How to download areas in Google Maps for offline use

For those of you that love Google Maps more than iOS’ built-in Maps app, Google Maps has a wonderful feature built into it that lets you download maps from specific regions for offline use.

This feature is perfect for when you need a map and you know you won’t have any cellular coverage or you don’t want to waste your precious capped data on navigation tasks.

Right before a big road trip, you can follow this tutorial we’re about to walk you through so you can download any region on Google Maps for your offline viewing pleasure. So let’s get started!

Waze for iOS picks up ‘Planned Drives’ feature

Waze, a Google-owned community-based traffic and navigation app, today rolled out a new feature called Planned Drives which lets you schedule a drive and get a reminder to leave on time, based on live traffic conditions.

In addition, the traffic bar in Waze 4.3 for iOS now shows the reason for a jam, like an accident or object on the road, and the app now mutes automatically during an incoming or outgoing phone call.

New TomTom Go Mobile app gives you 50 miles of free offline navigation each month

TomTom, a Dutch company that produces navigation and mapping products and one of Apple Maps data providers, today released a brand new real-time traffic information and navigation app on the App Store.

Dubbed TomTom Go Mobile, the free of charge software is now available globally and shares the same user interface as the TomTom GO satnav app. The app lets you drive up to fifty miles, or 75 kilometers, every month free of charge.

Upgrade to unlimited driving are available through the In-App Purchase mechanism.

Google Maps begins rolling out offline navigation to iOS users

As part of yesterday’s update to Google’s Maps app for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, offline navigation is now rolling out to users. Though conspicuously absent from changelog that accompanies the download, the crucial new feature was later confirmed by Google to VentureBeat.

I couldn’t get it to work in my area so my guess is that offline navigation in Google Maps is a staggered rollout and probably supported in select markets only.