After three years away from watchOS, Google Maps is back on the Apple Watch. The app had been discontinued on the platform in 2017. Since then, Apple’s own map app has reigned supreme on the device. Now, the relaunch of Maps for the Apple smart watch could make the competition between the two apps even stronger.
Google Maps 5.52 is now on the App Store
Maps is now available on the App Store, for watchOS, in version 5.52. The application does not yet have live maps on the Apple Watch platform, as with Apple Maps. This means that it must have an active connection between the watch and the iPhone.
Anyway, the app has useful features, which focus on providing step-by-step directions, in addition to the estimated arrival times.
The main screen of the application shows the current route, while at the bottom, there are options for “travel times” departing to places previously saved by the user, such as home, work and others. Adding a new location to the map, however, is not possible using the wearable app, it being necessary to do so through the app installed on the iPhone.
There is also support for navigation via car, bicycle, public transport or on foot. This is a feature that can be set directly by the watch app.
Once a route is selected, directions are displayed on cards with large icons, making them easier to see. The guidance also makes use of the haptic response feature, which aims to facilitate the identification of directions even if the user is not looking at the clock.