This section of the FAQs addresses your frequently asked questions about Google Assistant’s integration with Zap-Map, including how to use it and what it can control. Related EV and charging issues are covered in our other FAQs pages.
What is Google Assistant?
Google Assistant is a voice assistant service from Google. Using voice commands and voice-activated controls, Google Assistant allows users to complete a number of tasks using only their voice. Designed to use conversational commands, Google Assistant can be used at home, on your phone/computer/tablet, and in the car.
How does Google Assistant work with Zap-Map?
Google Assistant allows users to search for and navigate to public EV charge points from the Zap-Map database using voice commands. Charge points are suggested either nearby or towards a destination depending on user needs, with status updates available.
Do I need an internet connection to use Zap-Map on Google Assistant?
Yes, a good quality internet connection using data or broadband is required to use Zap-Map on Google Assistant. As the system is supported by numerous cloud functions, we are currently unable to provide offline Assistant capability. No doubt Google is working on it!
Do I need to give location permissions to use Google Assistant on Android devices?
In a word ‘yes’ as the Zap-Map Assistant requires your current location in order to recommend charging locations. Users who are using the Assistant using an Android devices will need to give location permissions via the Google Assistant app.
Users who access the service using a standard Gmail account should have sufficient location permissions to be able to use the Assistant. However, to check if permission have been given, or to allow your location to be accessed, visit https://myaccount.google.com/activitycontrols and select the option to ‘Include Chrome history and activity from site, apps, and devices that use Google services’.
Note that users with an email managed by G-Suite (usually company accounts) will first need to ask their administrator to set Web and App Activity to ‘ON for everyone’ or ‘ON’ for specific users. This control can be accessed in G-Suite Admin panel > Apps > Additional Google services > Web and App Activity. The above process to give location permission via ‘Activity controls’ must then be completed by each user within the G-Suite account wanting to use the Zap-Map Assistant.
Do I need to give location permissions to use Google Assistant on Apple/iOS devices?
In a word ‘yes’ as the Zap-Map Assistant requires your current location in order to recommend charging locations. Users who are using the Assistant using an Apple/iOS devices will need to give location permissions via the Google Assistant app.
As shown in the screenshots above, the process requires three steps: (1) Tap on the dashboard icon in the bottom right corner of the screen, (2) If location permissions are not activated, the first card should say “Get info on traffic and more near you”. Tap “Continue” on this card, and (3) An alert should appear requesting location permission, tap “Allow”. Once this process has been completed, the Assistant app will appear in Privacy > Locations Services, where the location permissions can be controlled.
Do I need an account with Zap-Map?
A Zap-Map account is not required to use the Google Assistant functionality, though some other features in Zap-Map do need a free, registered account. However, users will need a Google account to use Google Assistant.
How does Google Assistant help if I already have the Zap-Map app?
Google Assistant allows hands-free access to Zap-Map, with public EV charge point searches, information updates, and directions to charger locations possible using voice commands. This is particularly helpful while driving or on the move.
Does Zap-Map on Google Assistant work with all networks?
Google Assistant can provide charge point information for any charge point on Zap-Map, regardless of network operator.
When should I use Zap-Map on Google Assistant?
Google Assistant can be used at any time to use Zap-Map, though it is particularly useful hands-free whilst driving. This allows EV drivers to find charging locations safely, without needing to pull over and access the Zap-Map app using a touch screen.
Note that it is illegal to hold a phone while driving. You must have hands-free access, such as a Bluetooth headset, voice command, a dashboard holder/mat, a windscreen mount, or a built-in sat nav. In addition, the device must not block your view of the road and traffic ahead. Ref: https://www.gov.uk/using-mobile-phones-when-driving-the-law.
What devices can use Zap-Map on Google Assistant?
Zap-Map can be accessed using Google Assistant on any Google Assistant enabled device, such as smartphone, tablet, or smart device such as Google Home or Google Nest.
How do I install Google Assistant on my device?
Find the Google Assistant app in the device’s app store and download using your account. Google Assistant is available on both Android and Apple platforms.
How does Zap-Map on Google Assistant work with an Android phone?
Users need Zap-Map installed on their Android device for Google Assistant to use Zap-Map’s functionality. Users say ‘Hey Google, talk to Zap-Map’ to initiate app commands, and then follow prompts using voice commands from there.
How does Zap-Map on Google Assistant work with an iPhone?
Users need Zap-Map installed on their iOS device for Google Assistant to use Zap-Map’s functionality. Users say ‘Hey Google, talk to Zap-Map’ to initiate app commands, and then follow prompts using voice commands from there.
How do I use Zap-Map on Google Assistant in my car?
Users either need a Google Assistant device in their car, or have their mobile device connected for for Google Assistant to use Zap-Map’s functionality. Users say ‘Hey Google, talk to Zap-Map’ to initiate app commands, and then follow prompts using voice commands from there. This can either be done through a phone, or functionality is available through the car’s systems for vehicles with Android Auto connectivity.
How do I use Zap-Map on Google Assistant at home?
Users need Zap-Map installed on their mobile phone or a Google Assistant enabled device such as Google Home or Google Nest, to access Zap-Map functionality. Users say ‘Hey Google, talk to Zap-Map’ to initiate app commands, and then follow prompts using voice commands from there.
What data does Google Assistant use from Zap-Map?
Zap-Map’s extensive public EV charge point data is behind the searches by Google Assistant. Charge point statuses are available via voice command, also coming from Zap-Map’s database.
What information does Zap-Map and Google collect using Google Assistant?
What does ‘Google Assistant in Beta‘ mean?
The Zap-Map Actions using the Google Assistant platform are fully functional. That said, this is Zap-Map’s first ever voice-activated service and there may be a few minor bugs that we haven’t yet spotted. Hence the current service is in Beta phase while we iron out the last few wrinkles from the system. As always, do please send us your feedback about our new product!