Google is bringing the Google Assistant to Google Maps on Android and iPhone. At CES 2019 today, the company announced that it is rolling out a new update to Google Maps for Android and iOS that introduces Assistant integration. The feature was originally supposed to ship in Summer 2018.
Google Assistant on Maps will allow users to do things like search for places when they en route, add a stop to their route, reply to text messages, play music, share their ETA with family and friends, etc. all with their voice. On Android, the Assistant lets you send messages via messaging services with SMS, WhatsApp, Messenger, Hangouts, Viber, Telegram, Android Messages and more.
The integration is a massive step forward for Google Assistant, especially on the iPhone. For those on Android, the Assistant integration will be a nice addition to Maps when they are driving. But bringing Assistant to Maps means Google will be able to get all the Google Maps users on the iPhone to use Google Assistant. The company already offers a standalone Google Assistant app on the iPhone, but not a lot of iPhone users use it or are actually aware of it — so by bringing Assistant to Maps, Google will now be able to access these easier much more easily.