Fix: Google Maps not talking on iPhone

Let’s face it, Google Maps is the most complete navigation service on the market. That’s why you’re using Google Maps on your iPhone, despite it not being the default app. It’s just more convenient.

However, using Google Maps on the iPhone isn’t always smooth sailing. Issues simply happen. One of the most common problems Google Maps users have with the app is when you can’t hear the narration of directions. Simply said, when Google Maps won’t talk.

That’s why we’ll try to tackle the narration problem in this article. So, if you recently encountered such an issue, hopefully, you’ll find the solution here.

Table of contents:

  1. Check the mute switch and volume
  2. Switch to Loud volume
  3. Check the location services
  4. Make sure Directions aren’t muted
  5. Update Google Maps
  6. Disable voice over Bluetooth
  7. Offload Google Maps

Solution 1: Check the mute switch and volume

Sometimes, it’s the most obvious thing. For example, I cannot even remember how many times have I forgot to flip the mute switch on the side of my iPhone, or even check the volume level.

Before I got my first iPhone, I thought that having a physical mute switch is unnecessary. However, I can’t believe how much my life’s actually been easier with it. I switch to silent mode exclusively with the button. I even forget about it sometimes, and my iPhone can stay on Silent for hours or even days. Maybe the same thing can happen to you. So, before trying anything more drastic, just double-check the mute switch isn’t on.

Solution 2: Switch to Loud volume

There’s one solution that people around the web have reported to be the most helpful if Google Maps won’t talk. And that is to switch the navigation voice volume for iPhone’s default Maps app to Loud. Apparently, there’s an interference between Google Maps and iOS that could turn the volume inside the app all the way down. To learn more about the whole situation, check out this post on Apple Community.

I highly recommend reading that post to understand the situation better, but nevertheless, here’s how to change the volume of the navigation voice:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Scroll down and open Maps.
  3. Go to Navigation & Guidance.
  4. Select Loud Volume under Navigation Voice Volume.

Solution 3: Check location services

Google Maps needs access to location services in order to function properly. It also needs uninterrupted access, in case you want to use Maps in the background. So, make sure to allow Google Maps to always use location services, so the app won’t stop talking once you minimize it.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Head over to Privacy > Location Services.
  3. First, make sure Location Services is set to on.
  4. Now, scroll down and tap Google Maps.
  5. Choose Always under Allow Location Access.

Solution 4: Make sure voice directions aren’t muted

When you start voice navigation, the volume button will appear. You can tap this button to allow voice navigation, use it only for alerts, or mute it altogether. So, just quickly make sure you haven’t accidentally muted the narrator.

Just start a route, tap the speaker icon on the right side of the screen, and make sure the Unmuted option is selected.

Solution 5: Update Google Maps

It’s also possible that you’ve just installed a faulty update that simply rendered a part of Google Maps unusable. In this case, voice navigation. Although the main goal of an update is to make an app better, and most updates are generally stable (especially the ones from Google), mistakes can happen. A bug may slip through developers’ hands.

If you suspect the most recent Google Maps update may be the culprit, you can probably only wait for Google to release a new update that would eventually fix the issue.

To check for new updates, go to the App Store, and search for Google Maps. If there’s a new update, install it, and see how the app behaves after.

Solution 6: Disable voice over Bluetooth

If you’re connected to a Bluetooth device, Google Maps will immediately switch to talking through it. That’s fine if you have your Bluetooth headphones on, but if you don’t, you won’t hear anything. The solution is to either disconnect the Bluetooth device or force Google Maps to talk to the iPhone’s speaker by disabling the voice over Bluetooth option.

  1. Open Google Maps.
  2. Tap your profile picture in the upper right corner, and go to Settings.
  3. Head over to Navigation.
  4. Make sure the Play voice over Bluetooth option is off.

Solution 7: Offload Google Maps

If none of the previous solutions worked, you can also try re-installing Google Maps. But instead of doing it the traditional way, it’s better to just offload the app. That way you’ll remove the app and its components from the iPhone’s storage, but you’ll preserve the app’s data and documents, so you don’t have to adjust your Google Maps settings from scratch once you install the app again.

Here’s how to offload Google Maps:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Head over to General > iPhone Storage.
  3. Scroll down until you find Google Maps.
  4. Tap the Google Maps app and go to Offload App.
  5. Tap Offload App to confirm.

Now, just head over to the App Store, and install Google Maps again. Maybe everything will work as intended now.

That’s about it. I hope at least one of these solutions helped you resolve the problem with Google Maps not talking on your iPhone. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more articles like this.

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