Google has updated the iOS version of its Google Maps app to quietly roll out compatibility with the Apple Watch.
Google Maps for the Apple Watch is a simpler version of the app compared to its iterations for smartphones and tablets. It has been designed as more of a companion app to the feature-packed smartphone version, but it still definitely shows why Google Maps is a popular mapping application, even for Apple device owners.
The Google Maps app for the Apple Watch allows users to tap on buttons to be shown the routes that they can take to go to saved locations, such as their home address or to their office address. Additionally, users that look for directions on the iPhone will have the directions automatically synced to the Apple Watch, which users can access once they launch the Google Maps app on the smartwatch.
The app will support all the transportation modes that can be viewed on the iPhone, including directions when the user is walking, biking, driving or taking public transportation. The modes of transportation can be changed through a force press.
One feature that can be used without having to take out the iPhone is to access a list of the user's most recently taken routes, which can be seen by tapping underneath the Home address and Work address buttons.
However, one limitation of the Google Maps app for the Apple Watch is that it will not be able to display an actual map, which is one of the more useful features of the iPhone version. All it will be able to do is to display blue directional arrows that tell the user where next to go.
While the map function is not available for the Apple Watch, Google Maps for the smartwatch is still a notable app due to its popularity among users, as well as being the second app that Google has designed for the Apple Watch.
The first app, Google News & Weather, was a very basic app that displayed news summaries sourced from around 65,000 publications, with the stories being displayed in groups. The app was seen more as an experiment by Google in creating an app for the Apple Watch though, as opposed to an app that was geared towards providing much value to users.
The update of Google Maps to become compatible with the Apple Watch could mean that Google would be releasing more Google apps for the smartwatch.