Google now lets you answer calls, send texts and play music all from within its Maps app.. The new update is now rolling out to Android phones and will let you keep your focus on the road while Google Assistant goes into the new driving mode. This means you can make and receive calls, send and listen to text messages and control your music with just your voice and without having to take your hands off the wheel and your eyes off the road.
Assistant will alert you to an incoming call so you can answer or decline with your voice, eliminating the need to look down at your phone. For example, instead of looking glancing at your device to see who’s calling while you’re driving and then tapping to answer, Google will say something like “Call from Katie. Do you want to pick up?” You can then say “Yes” or “No” to answer or decline the call.
You can also play media from streaming services like YouTube Music, Spotify and Google Podcasts by saying “Hey Google, play [artist]” or “OK Google, play [song name].” And you can make requests by genre, albums or simply say “play some music.”
To get started, open the Google Maps app on your Android phone and begin navigating to a destination. Then tap the pop up to get started. You can also say “Hey Google, open Assistant settings,” then select Getting around and choose Driving mode to turn it on.
Tip of the month
Group Facetime Call
Did you know that you can have up to 32 people on a FaceTime call? This is a great option, especially if you don’t want to download a separate app and as long as everyone has an Apple device that is compatible. On an iPhone 6S or later, the iOS must be at least 12.1.4. If you’re using an iPad, it should be an iPad Pro, iPad Air 2, iPad (fifth generation), iPad mini 4. or a more recent model of any of those devices, running iPadOS. You can start the FaceTime from the FaceTime app or the Messages app.
Using FaceTime app:
Open the app
Click the + icon (without a circle around it) in the top-right corner
Type in the names or numbers of the people you’d like to talk to. If they’re in your contact list, their names will come up as you type, and you can click on each name to add them to the call.
You can also click on the circle with a + inside it to open up your contacts list and select people there. Tap their name to open up the contact then tap their number to add them.
Tap the green video button to start a video call or the audio button to start an audio call.
Using the Messages app:
Open the app
Open up an existing group chat or conversation in the Messages app
Tap on the icons for your contacts at the top of the screen (these will be bubbles with either your contacts’ profile photos, initials, or an icon with a figure’s head and shoulders)