KOCHI: Google announced the availability of voice navigation in six Indian languages - Malayalam, Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Tamil, and Telugu, on Thursday. With voice navigation, you can choose to hear traffic alerts, where to turn, and if there’s a better route, in the preferred regional language.
“Also, Dual Labelling is now available in 10 local languages, including Malayalam. Based on your location, Google Maps automatically shows names of places in dual language labels. For instance, in Kerala, you can see place names in English and Malayalam,” said Anal Ghosh, senior programme engineer, Google Maps.
Google says with its recently launched two-wheeler mode for navigation, Kerala constitutes one of its largest markets with places like Kochi, Kozhikode, Trivandrum and Palakkad, witnessing huge traffic flow. “Two-wheeler mode on Maps shows trip routes that use shortcuts not accessible to cars, buses and trucks. It also provides customized traffic and arrival time estimations,” said John Payyappillil, software engineer, Google Maps.
Google has also brought out ‘Maps Go,’ a lightweight Progressive Web App version of the original Google Maps app. Maps Go requires Google Chrome and doesn’t take any additional storage space on your phone.
This is designed to run smoothly on Android devices with limited memory and low-end processors. And, with the rise of 4G-enabled feature phones, Google has brought out Maps for KaiOS feature phone, which allows budget-phone users access navigations in a seamless manner like it is on a smartphone.“We have thousands of Local Guides in Kochi, Kozhikode, Trivandrum and across Kerala, with whom we are collaborating to constantly improve the Google Maps experience,” said Ghosh.
He added anyone can sign up to share information regarding road closures, missing roads, videos and 360 degrees photos for making the Maps more practical and immersive. As a Local Guide, you get points to share reviews, and photos on Google Maps. Those points lead to higher levels of the programme, where you can avail benefits like early access to Google features and special perks from partners.