Google is slowly moving beyond typing as an input method, along with the whole industry, but it's a slow process. The most recent developments for Google are the speech input capabilities built into Chrome which are now supported on more and more Google sites.
The latest to join the list is Google Maps, which can now receive searches via voice. The process is identical with searching for something using voice on the main site and still only works with Chrome. You also need to be in the US and it only works for the English language version.
"Without using your keyboard, you can now talk into Google Maps to look for places and get directions. If you’re using a Chrome web browser in the U.S. (English only for now), simply click the microphone icon and speak into your computer," Jed Burgess, software engineer at Google, announced.
While voice input may not be as relevant on the desktop as it is on mobile devices or other devices that don't have a typical keyboard, it's a good addition.
If you're using Google Chrome, just click on the small microphone icon that shows up in the search box on Google Maps now. If everything is set up and works properly, you will see a pop up notifying you to "speak now."
"Using voice search can make it easier to find hard-to-spell places (like Poughkeepsie or Liechtenstein) or simply get directions without typing (for example, say 'Directions from Los Angeles to San Francisco')," Burgess explains.
The new voice search feature works for the 3D Earth layer in Google Maps as well, provided your browser and operating system is supported, so you can enjoy the world in 3D using only your voice.
"Or if you’re interested in exploring the world through the Earth layer (using the plugin), you can just say where you want to go and fly over to that location directly within your browser!," Google added.