Google Maps is changing in the UK and here's everything new

Google Maps is the American tech giant’s navigation software that is available on Android, iOS and desktops.

The software is regularly updated by Google, meaning a litany of new features are consistently introduced.

Last month the firm added integrated Google Assistant functionality to Google Maps that allowed users to utter commands such as “okay Google, take me home”.

Such a feature was discussed at the firm’s I/O developer conference last year.

At the time Google stated the tool was part of an effort to get people to pay more attention on the road and be less distracted by their smartphones while driving.

Lilian Rincon, the director of product management at Google, said: “Sometimes the Assistant can actually be more helpful by having a lower visual profile.

“So when you’re in the car let’s say you’re focused on driving, so let’s say I’m heading home from work, I have Google Maps showing the fastest route through rush-hour traffic.”

Last month Assistant functionally arrived on Google Maps for those in the US.

But now the American tech giant has insisted it is now available in the UK.

Announcing the release, Google said: “Google Maps users in the UK can now get even more from the app with new Google Assistant integration.

“Millions of people around the world use Google Maps everyday to plan their journeys and to get to their destination as quickly as possible.

“Now, with the Google Assistant available within Maps users can take advantage of various additional features, activated with simple voice commands.

“By asking questions such as ‘Hey Google, take me home / to work’ or ‘Hey Google, take me to the nearest petrol station’, Maps will automatically update the destination and begin navigation. As Google Maps dynamically re-routes based on upcoming traffic patterns – and even annoying missed turns – users can be confident they’re taking the best route and wave goodbye to gridlock.”

In addition to asking for directions, Google Maps users are also able to perform smartphone functions using the Assistant.

This means fans can send text messages by harnessing the Google Assistant embedded within Maps for instance.

Google went on: “Google Assistant integration also allows drivers to perform a number of smartphone tasks while keeping their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road. Running behind schedule? Simply say, ‘Hey Google, text James that I’m running late’ and the Google Assistant will send a message for you.

“Similarly, if users have a Google Home, you can broadcast a message to the device by saying, ‘Hey Google, broadcast that I’m on my way home’.”

The new feature for Google Maps in the UK is available on Android and iOS.

Rollout for the function started today – Google has insisted the update will automatically be applied, meaning users will not need to head to their platform’s respective app store in order to obtain it.