Google Maps comes back to Apple Watch after three years


After an absence of three long years, Google Maps is being reinstated on the Apple Watch. Google has confirmed that it will start rolling out a new version of Maps for Apple Watch in the coming two weeks. Google had pulled the app from the smartwatch in 2017. However, it had kept the move as temporary.

Google Maps is now also available on the Apple Watch to get your walking, biking, and driving directions right on your wrist. The new app is mostly focused on giving you directions to known, be it workplace or home. In other words, the latest version of Google Maps will retain step-by-step directions for saved places. Using the standard features of GMaps, riders can choose the transportation type and route driven by the expected arrival time. Don’t expect to get a full-blown Maps app on your wrist, though.

Google was supporting WatchOS till 2017, however, it pulled a previous version of Maps without giving any reason. It was speculated that some maps were not coherent with Apple Watch. Within a span of 3 years, Apple Watch has undergone changes in terms of design and layout giving ample space for navigation using GMaps.

Limitations of using Google Maps on Apple Watch

But there is one hitch in using GMaps on Apple Watch. It works best for preset locations. In case you plan to use any different target, then the process is tedious. You have to first enter the destination on iPhone first and after it gets synced with the watch you can get started from where you left off.

The other drawback is navigation on GMaps by voice using Apple Watch will not be supported. You won’t be able to ask “Hey Siri, get me directions on Google Maps.”

In addition to Google Maps making a comeback on Apple Watch, it has finally been updated to work with Apple’s CarPlay dashboard mode. Google Maps’ support has been rolled out from today.

iOS 13 in 2019 had launched the dashboard mode, however, it was integrated with Apple Maps only. In iOS 13.4 launched earlier this year, Apple had given access to third-party companies. They could now add support for the dashboard mode using their mapping apps, the way GMaps has done.

Credit: Google Blog

From today, the working of GMaps will be similar to Apple Maps. The map on Apple’s CarPlay Dashboard will have a split-screen layout. There will be navigation controls on one side of the screen and the other side there will be media controls. This will include controls of music playback, calendar appointments, to name a few.

CarPlay supported vehicles will start receiving the GMaps update from this week with the next iOS update.

The news will make sense only to those who don’t trust Apple’s directions while wearing it on the wrist on driving car.

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