2000 Miles with Apple Maps

Jason Snell documents his experience using Apple Maps on the iOS 9 beta to route his trip from San Francisco to Seattle and back again. It seems like things worked pretty well for him.

For the first couple of days we were driving, my phone provided non-verbal cues when it was time to make or left or right turn. I had turned off voice assistance, but when it was time to make a left turn, the phone made a pleasant bing-bong sound. And when it was time to make a right turn, there was an equally pleasant bong-bing.

After a few days, this sound stopped, and we could never get it back, which made us all sad. My Apple Watch, however, continued to tap my wrist—thump-bump, thump-bump to turn left, tap tap tap tap tap tap tap to turn right—when it was time to turn, which I appreciated when I was driving. (As navigator, I would need to verbalize those cues so my wife would be prepared to turn.)

I took a family trip to Indianapolis a week ago, using Apple Maps to get around, and I too really appreciated the non-verbal cues. I primarily listen to podcasts while driving and in the past have shied away from using turn by turn directions because of the way that the vocal cues would play over my podcasts without pausing them.

Apparently the option to disable these vocal cues has existed since iOS 7, but now "No Voice" is the default? Or maybe it's the default if your phone is paired with a watch? At any rate, I didn't know that this option existed before, and now I can't do without it.