Google Maps adds built-in text-to-speech translation

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Google Maps is probably one of the most useful apps that you can have when traveling to an unfamiliar (or sometimes, even already familiar) place. It does get a little tricky sometimes if you’re in a place where you don’t speak the local language and where the locals may have trouble understanding your questions too. And while Google Translate is always there to help you out, it would be nice to have something built-in to your Maps app already. Well, Google heard you and now we get a translator feature within the Maps app.

When you need help for directions to a place you’re getting to but don’t know how it’s actually pronounced, you can now tap on the speaker button next to the name and address and it will say it out loud. You can maybe ask the person you’re asking help from to listen to the text-to-speech translation or try to learn how to pronounce the place yourself. The technology will automatically detect your default language and figure out what things you’ll need help translating.

For example, if you’re on your first trip to Tokyo and English is your default language, you’ll probably see the speaker icon next to places and addresses so you can listen to how they’re pronounced. But if you need a “deeper conversation”, then you’ll be referred to the actual Google Translate app which has a lot of features to help you out, including its own text-to-speech technology and a live translation feature.

Google Maps has been pretty great with its new features and technology the past few years so it’s actually surprising that this feature hasn’t been available until now. But lately, Google has figured out that it’s actually very beneficial to integrating google Translate into its other apps like Google Home, Google Lens, Google Assistant, etc rather than just keeping it as a stand-alone app.

The Translate integration with Google Maps will start rolling out to Android users this month. There are over 50 languages supported at launch but they will also add even more in the future.

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