Following the latest update, Google Maps will now be available on the Apple Store after leaving the platform in 2017. Google had announced that it was coming back to watchOS last month and looks like the company has kept its promise.
Google Maps provides step-by-step navigation, as well as estimated time of arrival – just like on Android – on the Apple Watch. The App’s primary screen shows the “Current Trip”. The list of “Travel Times” is shown below that includes your Home, Work, and other saved shortcuts or destinations.
The Apple Watch cannot be used to input destinations directly, instead, Google asks you to head over to the phone App first and then continue on the Apple Watch. The watchOS client supports navigating by most modes, including car, bike, public transport, or walking. Users can even “Set Travel Mode” directly from their wrist.
Possible routes are then offered, with Google taking advantage of the same icons from the full App.
Directions are displayed on the screen in cards with big icons and the current mode of transportation is also shown. The App uses haptics to provide guidance while navigating you. There is also a standard, system-level shortcut on the watch face to quickly return to the scrollable list view. A Google Maps complication shows a big icon that directly takes you to the App.
Unlike Apple Maps, a live map is not actually displayed in the wearable App. Meanwhile, the Watch app is particularly reliant on having a stable connection to your iPhone.
Google Maps for Apple Watch is rolling out with version 5.52 on the App Store.