Apple Maps 101: How to Customize Navigation Prompts for Clearer Spoken Directions

How to Customize Navigation Prompts for Clearer Spoken Directions

When it comes to traveling from one location to another with the aide of your iPhone, ensuring your navigation app works as it should keeps you one step ahead of potential hassles. One feature often overlooked is audio settings, and while having no voice prompts is easy enough to ignore while walking or commuting, having no sound to guide you while driving can spell disaster.

While voice guidance is enabled by default in Apple Maps on your iPhone, it may sound too low or high and might even interrupt other audio in the vehicle. If you've previously disabled voice navigation, the next time you get behind the driver's seat, it's a good idea to check that the settings are how you want since concentrating on the screen too often can be dangerous.

Choosing the Right Voice Volume for You

To tweak the voice settings for Apple Maps, you'll have to open the Settings app. From there, select "Maps," then tap on "Driving & Navigation."

Once on that page, check out the section under Navigation Voice Volume. By default, it should be set to "Normal," but if you've turned it off completely before, the "No Voice" option will be checked. We recommend checking either "Normal Volume" or "Loud Volume" for clarity but see below to learn more about these options.

  • No Voice: This silences all navigation prompts.
  • Low Volume: This plays all navigation prompts at the same volume as any media that's playing. Depending on what media is playing, it may be challenging to understand navigation prompts clearly. By default, podcasts and audiobooks will pause during navigation prompts (see next section for more info).
  • Normal Volume: This lowers the volume of any media that's playing so that navigation prompts can be heard more clearly. By default, podcasts and audiobooks will pause during navigation prompts (see next section for more info).
  • Loud Volume: This both lowers the volume of any media that's playing and raises the volume of navigation prompts. It's ideal for drivers who are hard of hearing or love to listen to loud music in general. By default, podcasts and audiobooks will pause during navigation prompts (see next section for more info).

Pausing Spoken Audio Altogether

If you prefer listening to podcasts or audiobooks over listening to music, there's one more setting you can enable to ensure you never miss navigation prompts — even if you're genuinely enthralled by what's currently playing.

The setting is accessed the same way as highlighted above but this time, tap on the toggle beside "Pause Spoken Audio" in the bottom Driving & Navigation to turn the feature on if it isn't already enabled. By default, it should be on, but you may have toggled it off previously for some reason or another.

You can only edit "Pause Spoken Audio" when the volume is set to either "Normal Volume" or "Loud Volume." So, if it's grayed out and you want to change it, change the volume to "Normal Volume" or "Loud Volume," toggle "Pause Spoken Audio," then return the volume to the setting you want.

With "Pause Spoken Audio" enabled, any podcast or audiobook that's currently playing will automatically pause for navigation prompts and pick up where it left off right after. Music will still play according to the volume settings you chose above.

Cover photo and screenshots by Amboy Manalo/Gadget Hacks

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