Google Maps is widely known as one of the most popular and iconic web mapping services out there. Other map apps have tried to sway Google’s loyal users away, but that hasn’t always worked out.
Unfortunately, back in 2017, Apple Watch users lost access to Google Maps. After a three-year hiatus, the Google Maps app returned to Apple Watch in 2020.
So now Apple Watch users that are Google Maps enthusiasts can rejoice because the app is officially back!
And best of all, it includes step-by-step directions, all from your Apple Watch!
For the past three years, Apple Watch users only had the option of using Apple Maps on their watch. While Apple Maps is a good web map app, most consumers will name Google Maps as their favorite map app.
How to make the most out of Google Maps on your Apple Watch
Google Maps not only gives you detailed directions, but you can also find out information for public transportation services, ride-share estimates, and even learn about nearby businesses.
So let’s check it out!
- Apple Watch not capturing or tracking workout routes in Maps? Let’s fix it.
- Apple Watch Trends missing after updating watchOS? Try this
- Fitbit GPS vs. Connected GPS: how to use GPS on your Fitbit and see your routes
- How to use Strava Routes: everything you need to know about the Strava subscription feature
Using Google Maps on your Apple Watch: features
Now that the Google Maps app is available to use on the Apple Watch, what exactly can you do with it? With the Google Maps app, Apple Watch users can get:
- Route estimates and estimated travel times for their pre-saved locations
- Current trip navigation, which includes step by step directions for driving, cycling, and walking
The current features of the Google Maps app on the Apple Watch provides a simple user experience. But, it can be a very resourceful tool. To make the most out of the Google Maps app on your Apple Watch, follow these ten tips.
Tip #1: Make sure your Apple Watch is up to date.
To get the Google Maps app on your Apple Watch, you must make sure your Apple Watch can have the watchOS5 update. Unfortunately, the original Apple Watch is the only model that cannot support this update.
Tip #2: Make sure Google Maps is up to date as well.
The Google Maps app must be updated to at least version 5.52 on your iPhone to be compatible with your Apple Watch. Once the app is updated, you will be able to access it on your Apple Watch.
Tip #3: Log in to Google Maps with your Google account.
Logging into Google Maps with your Google account is such a time saver when using the app on your iPhone, especially when you want to use Google Maps on your Apple Watch.
When you log in to the app, you can save and label your most used or favorite locations.
Tip #4: Save and label your favorite locations.
When you save and label your favorite locations in the Google Maps app, you then have direct access to them on the Google Maps app on your Apple Watch.
In the Google Maps watch app, you can’t look up directions or how long it will take to arrive at a location.
The best way to truly make the most out of the Google Maps app on your Apple Watch is to save and label your favorite locations. Don’t worry. It’s easy!
Tip #5: Search directions on the Google Maps app on your iPhone first, then open Google Maps on your Apple Watch.
If you need quick directions somewhere but don’t want to have to stare at your iPhone the entire time, look up the route in the Google Maps app first.
Once you’re ready to go, start the navigation on your iPhone, then open up the Google Maps app on your Apple Watch.
The step-by-step directions will appear on your wrist. Your Apple Watch will vibrate to alert you of any directional cues that you have to take.
Tip #6: Add stops in your saved routes.
If you’re the type of person who makes usual stops in your routine commute, you can add them to your saved routes on Google Maps. When you go into Google Maps and select directions, you have the option to add a stop.
This feature is handy, especially when you have to make stops during your routine commute, and you won’t have to pause your navigation.
Plus, you will get an even more accurate ETA!
Tip #7: Edit your shortcuts.
For the various places, you visit frequently, make sure you add them as a shortcut in the Google Maps app. That way, you can easily access them in the Google Maps app on your Apple Watch.
On your Apple Watch, Google Maps gives you the option to click on edit shortcuts. However, this is something you have to do on the Google Maps app on your iPhone.
Tip #8: Set your travel mode.
Google Maps gives you the option to get specific directions based on your mode of transpiration. You can set up your device to receive your routes for walking, driving, and even taking public transit.
Setting up your preferred method for travel will save you tons of time and keep you from getting misdirected.
Tip #9: Check your ETAs.
One of the most useful things you can do on Google Maps is getting your ETAs. On the Apple Watch, Google Maps will give you accurate travel times for all of your saved locations.
When you click on your saved location, Google Maps gives you the directions you need, with an accurate estimated time of arrival. Google Maps will also give you alternate routes and their estimated times.
Google Maps even gives you various publication transportation schedules!
Tip #10: Utilize both Apple Maps and Google Maps.
While everyone may not like to have several web mapping apps on their iPhone, using different web map apps can be useful. Google Maps has proven itself to be reliable and a top tier map app.
But Apple Maps also does a great job too. It all depends on what you need as a mobile map user.
Do you want to be able to access live maps on your Apple Watch?
Well, while you can’t do that on Google Maps at the moment, that is a feature Apple Maps currently offers.
The iPhone version of Google Maps and the actual website provides many impressive and productive features. However, the Apple Watch app gives its users a limited and minimal experience.
The step-by-step directions and ETAs for saved locations are great features. But not having the full map experience on your Apple Watch is disappointing for avid Google Maps users.
The Google Maps app on the Apple Watch may not be a complete replacement for Apple Maps. Let’s hope that the Google Maps app will provide more to do on your Apple Watch in the future.
Until then, Google Maps fans can rejoice to know that their favorite web map app is back on their Apple Watches! Make sure you download it today and give it a try!