How do I make my Android auto speak directions?

Android devices come with built-in voice assistance features that can read directions and navigation instructions aloud. This allows you to navigate hands-free without having to look at the screen. The Google Maps app for Android has voice navigation enabled by default, so you can get turn-by-turn directions read aloud while driving or walking. You can also adjust the volume and voice used for navigation. In addition, there are other navigation apps and Android’s screen reader that can provide spoken directions. This guide will cover how to enable, customize, and troubleshoot voice navigation on Android devices.

Enable Voice Navigation in Google Maps

To enable voice navigation in Google Maps on your Android device, first open the Google Maps app and tap on your profile icon in the top right corner. Then go to Settings > Navigation and toggle on “Voice navigation” (1). You can also adjust the volume for voice navigation in this menu.

Make sure that you have allowed Google Maps to access your device’s microphone, as this permission is required for voice navigation. You can check this in your Android device’s app settings (2). Finally, when navigating to a destination, tap on the speaker icon on the bottom bar to turn on voice prompts (3).


(1) Use navigation in the Google Maps app – Android

(2) Fix voice navigation problems – Android – Google Maps Help

Adjust Voice Navigation Volume

The volume level for voice navigation in Google Maps and other apps can be adjusted through your Android device’s system settings.

Go to Settings > Sound & notification > Media volume to change the volume level. Use the slider to increase or decrease the volume as desired. The media volume setting controls navigation voice volume as well as music, videos, and other media playback.

You can also press the physical volume buttons on your Android phone during navigation to temporarily adjust the voice volume. This will override the volume level set in the settings menu.

For some apps like Waze, there may also be in-app volume settings specifically for navigation voice prompts. Adjust these as well for your preferred navigation voice volume.


Use Alternative Navigation Apps

In addition to Google Maps, there are other navigation apps available for Android that provide voice-guided directions. Popular alternatives include Voice GPS & Driving Directions and GPS, Maps, Voice Navigation. Apps like Waze also offer voice-guided navigation and can provide helpful features like real-time traffic updates and alerts about hazards or police along your route.

Most navigation apps allow you to customize settings like voice, language, and volume. Some may have more natural-sounding voices or foreign language support. Testing different apps can help you find the voice-guided experience you prefer for turn-by-turn directions.

Use Android’s Built-in Screen Reader

Android has a built-in screen reader called TalkBack that can read on-screen text aloud. To enable TalkBack and have directions spoken aloud:

1. Open your Android device’s Settings app.

2. Tap Accessibility.

3. Tap TalkBack.

4. Toggle the TalkBack switch on.

You will get a tutorial the first time you turn on TalkBack. Follow the prompts to learn how to navigate your phone with gestures and spoken feedback.

With TalkBack enabled, touch an item on your screen and it will be read aloud. TalkBack provides spoken feedback for navigation, text fields, buttons, and more so you can operate your phone without looking at the screen. This makes it ideal for using voice navigation in your car.

To adjust TalkBack’s settings like speech volume, languages, and customization, go to Settings > Accessibility > TalkBack. You can also turn off TalkBack in the Settings when you no longer need spoken feedback.

Source: How to enable Android’s TalkBack screen reader

Set Preferred Voice and Language

The Google Assistant on Android allows you to customize the voice and language used for voice navigation and screen reading. This allows you to set your preferred pronunciation and accent.

To change the voice and language, go to Settings > Accessibility > Text-to-speech output on your Android device. Under Text-to-speech settings, tap on Preferred engine. You will see a list of available voices and languages. Tap on the voice of your choice to preview it. When you find one you like, press OK to set it as the preferred voice.

Some popular voice options include English (United States) with the Google US English voice, English (United Kingdom) with the Google UK English voice, and English (India) with the Google Hindi English voice. You can also choose different languages like Spanish, French, German and more. Test different options until you find the voice that you prefer.

With your preferred text-to-speech voice and language set, Google Maps navigation and any screen reading will use this customized voice for clearer, natural instructions. Just make sure to enable voice navigation in your map app’s settings.

Troubleshooting Tips

If you are having issues with voice navigation in Google Maps, here are some troubleshooting tips to try:

First, check your device’s volume settings. Voice navigation will not work if your phone or tablet is muted or the volume is turned down too low. Open the volume settings and turn the media volume up to ensure you can hear the voice directions (Source: Google Maps Help).

Next, check your internet connection. Voice navigation relies on an active data or WiFi connection. Make sure you have a strong signal and turn off Airplane mode if it is on. Voice navigation may cut out or not work at all without an internet connection (Source: MakeUseOf).

You may also need to check the app permissions for Google Maps and grant access to the microphone, location, and storage. Open Settings, go to Apps, select Google Maps, and make sure all relevant permissions are enabled (Source: Google Maps Help).

Following these tips should help troubleshoot any issues you’re having with voice navigation in Google Maps on Android.

Customize Voice Commands

You can create custom voice commands for Google Maps navigation using if-then routines in the Google Assistant app. Here’s how:

  1. Open the Google Assistant app on your Android device.
  2. Tap Routines.
  3. Tap the + icon to create a new routine.
  4. Give the routine a name like “Navigate home.”
  5. Under “When I say,” type a custom phrase like “Let’s go home.”
  6. Tap Add action and select “Get directions to a place.”
  7. Enter your home address.
  8. Tap Save to finish setting up the routine.

Now when you say “Hey Google, let’s go home,” the Assistant will open Google Maps and start navigating you home by voice. You can create routines with custom voice commands for any saved place in Google Maps.

If-then routines allow you to customize Google Assistant to understand commands like “Navigate to work” or “Take me to the gym.” It’s a handy way to start voice-guided directions in just a few words.

Alternative Navigation Methods

While automated voice navigation provides hands-free directions, it can also be distracting and dangerous to rely on while driving. Here are some alternative options to consider for safe navigation on the road:

Use tactile turn-by-turn directions – Some navigation apps like Google Maps allow you to enable turn-by-turn directions that vibrate your phone. This can provide navigation cues without having to look at or listen to your phone.

Print directions – For longer trips, consider printing out directions from an online map ahead of time. This allows you to reference paper directions when needed without any distractions from your phone.

Use a passenger – Have a passenger assist with navigating, looking up directions and operating your phone. This allows you to focus on driving safely.

Pull over when distracted – If you find yourself needing to check directions or being distracted by navigation, pull over to a safe location before interacting with your phone. Prioritize safety over efficiency.

Some key takeaways are to minimize distractions by using tactile or offline navigation methods when possible, and always pull over if you find yourself distracted while driving and needing to handle your phone for directions. Safe driving practices should take priority over navigational convenience.


Getting audible turn-by-turn navigation instructions on your Android phone is easy with a few simple settings adjustments. The key steps are:

  • Enable voice navigation in Google Maps or your preferred maps app.
  • Adjust the voice guidance volume to an audible level in your map app’s settings.
  • Set the voice and language you want to hear.
  • Consider using a dedicated navigation app like Waze if Google Maps’ voice navigation doesn’t meet your needs.
  • For those with visual impairments, enable Android’s TalkBack screen reader for full voice assistance.

With voice-guided navigation, you can focus on the road while driving and avoid dangerous distractions. Just be sure to customize the settings to your liking so the directions are clear and easy to understand. Safe travels!

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