Google Maps has been offering an operating system for connected watches since 2014. But its platform has never really taken off. However, for the past few years, the firm seems to have wanted to take this Wear OS (formerly Android Wear) platform to the next level. Google has invested heavily in improving its ecosystem, and it’s also partnered with Samsung to merge Wear OS with the Korean giant’s Tizen platform. In addition, Google is no longer satisfied, today, to offer an operating system. In 2022, he made the Pixel Watch official.

The message is clear, Google has not abandoned the watch market and aims to offer a product capable of competing with the Apple Watch. And precisely, to make Wear OS connected watches more competitive, the Mountain View company has just announced a new feature of Google Maps that will make watches under Wear OS even more practical for users. Especially those capable of connecting to mobile data.

A feature that becomes essential

Today, some connected watches are able to connect to the internet without going through a smartphone. This allows, for example, a user to take only his watch for jogging, while accessing certain functions requiring an internet connection. However, even when a watch had this connection, navigation with Google Maps still required a nearby smartphone. But that will change. Indeed, soon, you will be able to use Google Maps on your connected watch, even if you have left your smartphone.

“We are thrilled to announce that you can now enjoy turn-by-turn Google Maps navigation right on your LTE watch, without a phone. If you have an LTE-enabled watch or your watch is connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi, you can now enjoy Maps on your wrist”can we read in the official announcement of Google.

How to use Google Maps without a smartphone?

To use Google Maps navigation on a Wear OS watch, without a smartphone nearby, you must:

  • Open Google Maps on the watch
  • Indicate your destination using typing or your voice, or via the map
  • Choose a means of transport
  • Start the journey

Obviously, navigation on a connected watch screen will never equal that of a smartphone screen. However, in some scenarios it can be handy, for example if you’re going for a run and don’t want to carry around a smartphone.

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