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How-tos

How to change the guiding voice in Waze to your own (or Kim’s!)

Thanks to our smartphones’ built-in GPS and navigation apps, we don’t need to deal with paper maps or standalone GPS units.

Navigation apps can also help you plan to avoid traffic and obstructions on the way to your destination, which is especially important nowadays. Just look at the gas prices. Tap or click to find the most efficient route with Google Maps and Apple Maps.

But what if you get tired of the guiding voice in your navigation app? Perhaps you prefer a woman’s voice over a man’s. A celebrity voice can ease the pain of a long journey. Want something unique to you? We’ll show you how to program your voice, your kid’s voice or even Kim’s voice into Waze.

Waze is a mood

The Google-owned Waze app is part navigation, part social media. The app uses real-time, crowdsourced information to report crashes, road hazards, police traps, bad weather and more.

You can choose from a list of car icons to represent your vehicle and set special moods to give other drivers an idea of how you’re feeling. These range from everyday moods, such as funny or furious, to silly ones or pop culture figures. Just don’t do this while you’re driving.

RELATED: Google Maps and Apple Maps: 10 hidden settings you’ll use all the time

Change things up for a change

Waze offers way more options for voice direction than other navigation apps. Here’s how to change the voice in your Waze app:

  • Open the Waze app on your iPhone or Android phone.
  • Tap My Waze, then the Settings gear icon.
  • Tap Voice & sound, then Waze voice.
  • Scroll through the list of Waze voices and make your selection.

Unfortunately, you can’t preview a voice, so you’ll have to wait until you start using the app for navigation. Just give it a test run to make sure you pick one you like.

The top three voices — Sarah, Ben and Jane — include street names. Beyond that, you’ll get more basic directions.

Celebrity voices may be added or removed at any time. The current selections include Christina Aguilera and Boy George. More generic choices include ’90s Pop Star and Boy Band.

There are multiple languages to choose from — or you can stick with English in a different accent, such as Australian or British. Try the cat or dog voices if none of the above appeals to you. Yes, they’re actually there.

Make sure your spouse can hear you wherever they go

Love the sound of your own voice? Want to play a prank on a loved one? You can program your voice into Waze and have some fun with it. You can also record the kids and use their voices to guide you around town.

Here’s how:

  • Open the Waze app on your iPhone or Android phone.
  • Tap My Waze, then the Settings gear icon.
  • Tap Voice & sound, then Waze voice.
  • Tap Record new voice.
  • Tap on the type of direction you’d like to record, then tap the record icon to start recording, then stop when you’re finished.
  • Tap Save, then repeat the above step for each direction.
  • When you’re finished, tap Save in the top-right corner of your screen.

Download Kim’s voice for your Waze app

Maybe you don’t love the sound of your own voice or think it might be a little weird to narrate your drive. You’re in luck: Kim recorded all the drive directions, and you can download her voice into your app (it’s best if you follow these steps on your phone). Here’s how:

  • Make sure you have the Waze app installed on your phone
  • Tap this link to open Waze and you’ll find Kim Komando at the top of your screen, in the Voice recorder section.
  • Tap Kim Komando to download Kim’s voice into your Waze.
  • Tap Kim Komando again to let Kim guide you to your destination.

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