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Google Maps now lets you make calls, listen to music with just your voice. Here's how

Google Assistant driving mode helps you get things done without leaving the Maps navigation screen.

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Send text messages and make calls from within the Google Maps app.

Angela Lang/CNET

Google now lets you answer calls, send texts and play music all from within its Maps app, it announced Tuesday. 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.

Google

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.

Google also added more COVID-19 details to its Maps app, allowing you to see how crowded your transit line is in real time and check the live status of your takeout or delivery order. These features are now rolling out to Android and iPhone users, so you may not see them yet.

Right now, the Assistant driving mode feature is only available for Android users (version 9.0 or higher). Google says more features will be coming soon to its Assistant driving mode.

For more Google tips, check out these six Google Maps tricks you didn't know until today, this new Google Maps tool that shows you how busy places are before you go and these seven hidden Gmail tricks everyone should know.

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