I have an HTC Desire phone running Android and I use the Google Maps application. I can search for locations using text entry but I would like to be able to use the voice entry feature which was added last year.

You can now search Google Maps for Android simply by speaking your query and Google Maps will search it for you.

I have the latest version of Google Maps from the Android Market but I don't see how to activate this voice search feature. I have tried opening Google maps, pressing the search key at the bottom-right of the phone, and then saying for example 'London' into the phone's microphone, but nothing happens.

How do I use the voice search in Google Maps for Android?


There is no microphone icon next to the search bar.

Version Information

  • Android Version: 2.1-update1
  • Google Maps version: 4.4.0 (#4414) gmm-android-htc

2 Answers 2


I have a Samsung Galaxy S on T-Mobile, so YMMV.

To use voice entry, I start the Navigation application, not Maps; one of the menu options it displays is "Speak destination". Navigation wasn't available on the phone when I first got it; I first noticed it about a week ago (I noticed Latitude and Places arrived at the same time, so might all have been part of the same push).

EDIT: To get voice entry in Maps, press and hold the Search key, which gives you a general search. To search for a location, I use Menu > Search, then there's a microphone icon on the search bar. In Menu > Directions, you can focus on either the From or To input boxes, and again you'll get the search bar with a microphone icon. If I use Menu > Directions to speak a location, it works as if I'm doing a map search, so I have to go back and select the location again in the Directions input box.

  • I don't use the Navigation program. As far as I know it only supports driving directions which isn't useful to me since I can't drive. I want to have easy access to train/bus timetables and walking directions plus other features that are available in Google Maps. Thanks for your answer anyway, but I don't think it's what I'm looking for.
    – Mark Byers
    Commented Jul 31, 2010 at 14:06
  • @Mark: I believe you're right about Navigation only giving driving directions. You can use voice search in Maps, but it's not perfect; see my update.
    – Niall C.
    Commented Jul 31, 2010 at 15:45
  • @Niall C.: This looks much more like what I am looking for thanks. However I cannot see the microphone icon on the search bar. Do I need to download some special version of Google Maps or an add-on package to add the voice search functionality? Sorry for asking such basic questions... I have tried to Google for information about this but I cannot find anything about how to do it - only a lot of pages saying that it is possible.
    – Mark Byers
    Commented Jul 31, 2010 at 21:15
  • By the way, if I select "Google Maps -> Menu -> About" it tells me "Version 4.4.0 (#4414) gmm-android-htc".
    – Mark Byers
    Commented Jul 31, 2010 at 21:17
  • 3
    I also have an application called Voice Search. I believe I was prompted to install it the first time I used the "Speak destination" option in Navigation. IIRC, the prompt said it's an optional plug-in.
    – Niall C.
    Commented Aug 1, 2010 at 4:30

Press the search key, this brings up a search bar you can type into, with a magnifying glass icon on the right. To the right of this icon is a microphone which activates voice search.

If you don't have that icon, check which version of Maps, and which version of the Android OS is installed. In the maps application, press menu, then choose "more", then "about". To find the phone version, go to settings, about phone, and see "firmware version".

  • I have added version information to my question. What version do I need? I bought the phone in Denmark... could that cause a problem?
    – Mark Byers
    Commented Aug 1, 2010 at 2:39
  • If you use the Google translate app, it will only speech recognise a small subset of the languages it can translate from and to, and Danish isn't one of them, so I'd assume that the voice recognition won't work in Danish in other apps.
    – rjmunro
    Commented Aug 8, 2010 at 22:54
  • @rjmunro: You are right that it doesn't understand spoken Danish, but interestingly if I say 'Botanical Gardens' in English it correctly finds 'Botanisk Have' and if I say 'Railway Station' it correctly finds 'Banegård'. However it will not find Danish road names.
    – Mark Byers
    Commented Aug 8, 2010 at 23:45

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