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Tutorial: How-to access turn-by-turn, voice-guided navigation in Google Maps for Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean)

If you’re wondering what might have happened to your Blue (Arrow) Navigation icon, read on to find the answer:

Okay, so here’s the thing: I bought my new Samsung Galaxy S II with “Ice Cream Sandwich” as the installed O/S, and when I sent the phone in for repairs I got it back with Jelly Bean installed. I was quite happy with that (software) upgrade (since in any case, I was trying to get it done – for the longest time – by my carrier but they wouldn’t/couldn’t give me an ETA for the upgrade).

Then came the day when I wanted to access the (stand-alone) voice-guided, turn-by-turn “Navigation” feature that I had (and so loved), and guess what? Surprise, surprise! It wasn’t there! Nowhere could it be found! Not on any of the workspaces, and not even on the list of installed/running applications. The only thing (close enough to that) that I could find was “Google Maps”, which I didn’t use one single time for Navigation, before my phone was sent in for repairs.

So, l started fidgeting and fingering around with “Google Maps” (to see if it had somehow incorporated the Navigation feature into itself) and lo and behold, there it was, tucked away in a little, dark corner.

Okay, enough of the chit-chat and let’s get down to showing you how to get access to the voice-guided, turn-by-turn navigation that you came here looking for.

There are two ways to get access to your familiar navigation – a quick and easy way, and a slightly longer and more involved way. I’ll show you the quicker way first (duh!) – and I’m sure most of you will only ever use the quicker way – but for those of you who may want to use the slower way (for one reason or another), I’ll put that out there as well.

The short-cut to voice-guided, turn-by-turn navigation

So here’s how to quickly get voice-guided, turn-by-turn navigation working on your upgraded Google Maps/Android O/S:

First thing first, and this is a given! You must have GPS enabled (as shown circled red below) in order for these options to work.

So, the first thing you want to do is to launch “Google Maps”, as shown circled red below:

Once you have “Google Maps” up and running, tap the search bar on top, and then type in your destination/search location.

Note that you can also one (or both) of the following, if possible/applicable to your situation:

  1. You may select a location/destination from your “search history” – shown circled red above
  2. You may touch and hold (for a few seconds) a location on the map – shown circled red below

For option # 2 above, you may do any of the following:

  • Touch and drag the map
  • Double-tap any area of the map, to zoom in step-by-step
  • Pinch-outwards, to zoom into an area of the map
  • Pinch-inward, to zoom out and get a wider view of the map

Once the (location) address is displayed (as shown circled red above), in a box towards the bottom of your screen, along-with a blue car icon and the driving duration, you will need to touch and hold the blue car icon for a few seconds, and voila, you’re off to the races (with the help of voice-guided, turn-by-turn navigation of course).

The screenshot below shows how your screen will look, once voice-guided, turn-by-turn navigation begins:

The longer route to voice-guided, turn-by-turn navigation

You might be asking yourself, “Why would someone even think about providing a lengthier way to achieve something that can easily be achieved in just 3 simple steps”?

Well, the answer lies in the screenshot below (circled red). Using the longer route (listed below) you are able to pull up text-based, step-by-step instructions, much like you would get from internet-based sites such as Mapquest and “Google Maps”. So, if that (text-based, step-by-step instructions) is of any help to you, then yeah, you’d have to go down this longer route instead.

Okay, so here’s all of the steps required to obtain voice-guided, turn-by-turn navigation the longer way:

So, the first thing you want to do is to launch “Google Maps”, as shown circled red below:

Once you have “Google Maps” up and running, tap the search bar on top, and then type in your destination/search location.

Once the (location) address is displayed (shown circled red below), in a box towards the bottom of your screen, along-with a blue car icon and the driving duration, you will need to tap the blue car icon (circled red below).

You will then be presented with a screen (similar to the one below) which lists one or more routes to your destination. At this point, you are required to select a route that suits you best.

Once you select your preferred route you will see the following screen, and here’s where you’ll find that familiar, long-lost, blue-arrow, navigation icon, which used to live proudly by itself on one of your workspaces, but is now incorporated into the “Google Maps” app.

As it turns out, this screen also presents you with the option to get text-based, turn-by-turn navigation I mentioned earlier. In order to see text-based navigation, all you have to do is to hold and drag (upwards) the white bar at the very bottom of the screen (the one which displays the route you chose earlier, alongwith the blue arrow icon). If you would like to see the map again, just hold and drag down the same bar.

If you would like to start voice-enabled, turn-by-turn navigation, simply tap the blue, arrow (Start) icon and you’ll get exactly what you came here for – Navigation the good, old way.

Has this helped you, or have you found a quicker/better way to achieve the same results?

Collectively we can all help make each others’ life easy, so do take a moment to share your experience, findings, or even frustrations.

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