Google recently announced that Google Maps is returning to watchOS after disappearing from the platform in 2017. Now Maps for Apple Watch is rolling out through a new app update, although it’s missing some of the standard watchOS features you get with Apple Maps.
Once you select a destination through the Google Maps app on your iPhone, your Apple Watch will display an ETA and turn-by-turn directions. You can scroll through the list of directions on your Apple Watch, or alter your travel mode from driving to walking, biking, or riding public transport.
But unlike Apple Maps, the Google Maps for watchOS app cannot display an actual map. You cannot program destinations through the 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 that the average user needs to drive or walk around town, including a haptic alert system for incoming turns. The missing features may only matter to people who regularly walk, run, or bike without carrying their iPhone.