Can you change the voice on Google Maps Android?

Google Maps is one of the most popular navigation apps available for Android smartphones. It utilizes GPS technology to provide turn-by-turn voice guided directions while driving, walking, bicycling or taking public transit. Google Maps voice navigation has been a key feature of the app since it was first introduced in 2009.

The voice guided navigation works by speaking aloud directions and instructions to help guide users to their destination. Some of the types of instructions that the voice will provide includes announcing upcoming turns, lane changes, warning about upcoming hazards, and estimating time of arrival.

By default, Google Maps on Android uses a female voice for navigation directions. However, the app does provide options to change the voice and customize it to your preferences.

Default Voice

The default voice on Google Maps for Android is a female voice that speaks street names. This synthetic voice is produced by a text-to-speech engine and is given a female vocal characterization. The voice does not have an official name, but some users refer to her informally as the “Google Maps Lady.”

This female voice has been the default since Google Maps first introduced spoken turn-by-turn navigation directions. Many users are accustomed to hearing her voice guiding them on their journeys. However, some users find the default voice too robotic, awkward, or difficult to understand (source).

The good news is that Google Maps allows users to change to a different voice if desired. The default voice is just one of several options available.

Changing the Voice

Google Maps for Android allows users to change the voice that gives audible directions. To access the voice settings, first open the Google Maps app on your Android device. Tap on your profile icon in the top right corner, then select “Settings.” Under the “Navigation settings” section, tap on “Voice preview.”

This will bring you to the “Voice selection” screen where you can preview different voice options. To change the voice, tap on the voice you want to select. Options include male and female voices, as well as voices in different languages (more details below).

Once you select a new voice, it will become the default voice for turn-by-turn directions in Google Maps. The app will remember your voice selection unless you return to the settings to choose a different option. You can also adjust the voice’s speed and volume on this screen.

Male Voice Option

By default, Google Maps uses a female voice for navigation directions. However, there is an option to change to a male voice if preferred. On Android devices, you can select the male voice by going to Settings > Navigation settings > Voice selection, and choosing the “English (United Kingdom) – male voice” option (Source). This will change the navigation voice to a British male accent.

Unfortunately, there is currently no setting on iOS to change to a male voice (Source). The voice remains female regardless of language options selected. So Android users have the ability to choose between male and female, while iOS users are limited to the default female voice.

Other Languages

Google Maps allows you to change the voice guidance language to suit your needs. On Android, you can select from over 30 languages like Spanish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, and more (Source). To change the voice language on Android:

  • Open the Google Maps app
  • Tap on your profile icon in the top right
  • Select Settings > Navigation settings
  • Tap on Voice selection
  • Choose your preferred language

The app will now provide voice guidance in the chosen language. This is useful when traveling abroad or wanting navigation instructions in your native tongue (Source). The voice language can be changed back to default at any time from the Navigation settings.

Voice Speed

The speed at which the Google Maps voice reads out directions and other information can be adjusted on Android devices. This allows you to slow down or speed up the talking pace based on your preference and needs. According to Google Support, the voice speed can be changed by going into the Google Maps settings and selecting “Navigation settings.”

Under “Driving options,” you’ll find a slider that enables you to adjust the speed at which the voice speaks. Dragging the slider to the left slows down the talking speed, while dragging to the right increases it. You can preview how fast or slow the voice will speak before confirming the change. Adjusting the speed can help make the voice guidance easier to comprehend or keep up with (Source: Google Support).

Unfortunately, changing the voice speed is currently only available on Android. The option doesn’t seem to be accessible on iOS. While the speed can’t be adjusted, Google Maps voice does automatically account for speed changes based on your real-time GPS location and driving speed (Source: Quora).

Voice Preview

Before committing to a new voice, you can preview what each option sounds like. This allows you to test out the available voices and find the one you like best before changing it permanently.

To preview the voice options in Google Maps for Android:[1]

  • Open the Google Maps app.
  • Tap on your profile icon in the top right.
  • Go to Settings > Navigation settings.
  • Under Voice selection, tap on each voice to hear a preview.

This will play a short demonstration of each voice’s pronunciation and cadence. Listen to each option before making your selection to find the one you find most clear and pleasant to listen to.

Voice Volume

You can easily increase or decrease the volume of the voice navigation in Google Maps for Android or iOS. On Android, open the Google Maps app and tap on your profile icon in the top right corner. Then go to Settings > Navigation settings and adjust the volume slider to your desired level. You’ll see a preview of the voice to hear the new volume.

For iPhone and iPad, open Google Maps and tap on your profile icon. Go to Settings > Navigation and adjust the volume slider. You can also use the volume buttons on your iOS device while navigating to quickly change the volume.

If the voice is too quiet even at full volume, check your device’s main volume level. You may need to increase the overall volume if it’s set too low. Make sure that your phone or tablet’s volume isn’t muted.

See this Google support page for more details on adjusting volume in Android. And this page covers volume controls in iOS.

Troubleshooting Google Maps Voice Issues

If the voice on Google Maps is not working properly, there are a few troubleshooting steps you can try:

First, make sure your device’s volume is turned up and not muted [1]. Open another app to check that audio is working, then go back to Google Maps.

Check your internet connection and try toggling airplane mode on and off to reset the connection [2]. Issues with connectivity can prevent the voice from working properly.

Force stop the Google Maps app, clear the cache and data, then re-launch the app. This will reset any issues that may be occurring within the app itself.

Make sure Google Maps has permission to access your device’s microphone, as this is required for navigation voice to function. Check your phone’s app permissions.

As a last resort, uninstall and reinstall the Google Maps app. Be sure to backup any saved data first.

If you still cannot get the voice working after trying these troubleshooting tips, you may need to contact Google Maps support for additional help.


To recap, Google Maps for Android allows you to customize the voice used for navigation directions. The default voice can be changed in the app’s settings by going to Navigation settings and selecting a different voice under Voice preview. Options include male or female voices, as well as voices speaking different languages. The speaking speed and volume can also be adjusted. If voice directions are not working properly, steps like checking app permissions, device volume, and network connection can help troubleshoot the issue.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *