Google Will Address the ‘Ghost’ in Google Maps

It's working on a fix that should be rolling out soon

Google has stated that it's "working on a fix" for the mysterious voice that several users have begun hearing in Google Maps.

Both Android and iOS users have reported strange happenings in Google Maps, with the app's voice changing on its own. Many have shared accounts of the voice giving them directions suddenly shifting to a deep-voiced man with a slight accent. It seems the app will start by randomly swapping between this voice and the user's selected one a few times before eventually settling on this new one.

Google Maps on smartphone held in hand

Henry Perks / Unsplash

While this is obviously some sort of bizarre bug, there is still some mystery behind it. What's causing the voice to change like this? Why is it only changing to this specific voice? And as Reddit user fezguy pointed out, "...try finding this voice in the catalogs of voices for Google maps/assistance... I haven't been able to find it as an option." So this doesn't even seem to be a selectable voice option in the first place. Where did it come from?

The official Twitter account for Google Maps has responded to several users reporting similar vocal takeovers with the same statement: "The team is working on a fix and it will be rolled out soon." It has not yet given an explanation for the bizarre glitch, however. If you have an iPhone and want to avoid the issue without waiting for a patch, PhoneArena recommends switching over to Apple Maps instead.

We still don't know the cause and Google hasn't given an estimate as to when the problem will be fixed. For now we'll just have to have faith that "soon" means "within the next few days or weeks," and try not to panic if we suddenly hear and unexpected voice in the car.

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