Tuesday, January 15, 2019

#TechTipTuesday - Using Google Maps with Siri

I will be the first to admit it, I do not particularly care for the native iPhone Maps navigation software. I keep waiting for it to get better as they keep promising that it will, but every-time I am in a pinch and ask Siri to get directions to a location I find myself getting stuck in construction, or driving way far out of the way, and even sometimes taking me to a not specific  destination.

I know it will get better with time...but I do not have time to waste on poor directions when there are so many other services that are far more reliable and just seem to get me better.

I prefer to use Google Maps for the most part, occasionally I dabble with Waze, but my go to is Google Maps. It get's me where I want to go, it gives me timely lane navigation and prepares me for what I will need to be doing in a few miles vs suddenly being told....to turn left as I fly past the turn.

So, how can we capitalize on using Siri hands free while getting all the benefits of Google Maps.

To sum it up: Siri Shortcuts!

I found this awesome article giving you the step by step instructions on how to set up the short cut and use it:

How to Use Google Maps or Waze with Siri Instead of Apple Maps

When driving, you can get directions hands-free by asking Siri. You can also make general map searches, show a location's details, call a query's phone number, and view traffic details. However, Siri defaults to Apple Maps for all those. If you prefer Google Maps, Waze, or another third-party navigation app, the map-based Siri commands won't work.
I downloaded and setup the Shortcut following the instructions, and aside from the very nature of the shortcuts app being ever so slightly clunky, the shortcut works great.

I say "hey Siri"
wait a second for her to acknowledge me, and then I say to her to "Get Directions" which is the key phrase I used (you can change it to what ever you'd like)

And then she opens up short cuts then opens up voice dictation.

I say a location or place and then Google Maps opens and the step by step directions immediately starts reading them aloud to me. 

Happy navigating.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

#TechTipTuesday - GBoard Personalized Stickers

Almost 5 years ago I was blogging all about GBoard. A new Keyboard option created by Google for your iPhone.

TheTechSpec Blog

IP I really hadn't put to much merit into all these new keyboards available for download, that is until I downloaded the Goolge keyboard for iOS! Wow, the things I didn't think I'd ever use, (like swipe typing and animated gif libraries and even being able to search for emojis) I've now been convinced of their convenience.

Fast forward to today and here I am excited to share my latest discovery. Personalized Stickers with GBoard.

While BitMoji holds a special place in my heart...and in my keyboard settings on my phone, I love the option to have more ways to express myself in texts, twitter, etc.

In order to set it up, check out my blog post above if you have never added a second keyboard to your phone, and then follow the steps below to access and create your very own personalized sticker.

Once you have added the keyboard you will need choose emoji option, pictured below:

Then choose the sticker logo

Next up you will want to choose the custom sticker icon, pictured below
 And then the create button, it will ask for access to your camera

 Let is scan your face, and then....

...3 sticker creations of you are made. Each can be customized after they were automatically made so you can change things that you'd like.

Have fun, and please tweet me your new creations @TheTechSpec

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Sunday Post - Weebly Wobbles but it won't fall down

Welcome to my last Sunday post of 2018. It has been an awesome year and I can not thank you all enough for subscribing, reading, listening, and viewing my blog post each week. 

To wrap up this year I present to you the 15th episode, in my second season,  of my podcast Tech on the Side and all of it's associated articles and videos. 

If you have not yet shared the my blog with someone you think who may enjoy it, now would be the perfect time, and the perfect gift.

Happy Holidays and here's to the new year.

Google Lens arrives in iOS search app

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10 tricks every iPhone user will wish they knew sooner

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Here's the Very Best of Oprah's Favorite Things

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Gingerbread Joke