Google recently announced that Google Maps returns to watchOS after disappearing from the platform in 2017. Now Maps for Apple Watch is being rolled out a new app update, although it lacks some of the standard watchOS features you get with Apple Maps.
Once you’ve selected a destination through the Google Maps app on your iPhone, your Apple Watch will display an estimated time of arrival and step-by-step directions. You can scroll through the list of routes on your Apple Watch or change the way you travel from driving to walking, cycling, or using public transportation.
But unlike Apple Maps, the Google Maps app for watchOS cannot display an actual map. You can’t program destinations through Apple Watch, and the wearable app only works when your Apple Watch is connected to your iPhone.
Still, Google is off to a good start. Maps on Apple Watch provides everything the average user needs to drive or walk around town, including a haptic alert system for incoming turns. The missing features may only matter for people who regularly walk, run or cycle without wearing their iPhone.