The Google Maps Apple Watch app is heading back to the App Store, with a full set of features that mean it will be better than ever.
The original Google Maps app was pulled back in 2017, but a new version will land in the coming weeks, meaning finally Apple Watch users have an alternative to Apple Maps.
When the original app was removed Google promised it would support Apple Watch again in the future, but few realised it would take three years to happen.
The Google Maps app comes with a full quota of features to compete with Apple Maps. Apple’s service has improved hugely since its launch in 2014, but Google Maps is still our personal favorite.
The Google Maps app will put turn-by-turn directions on the wrist, as well as transit/public transport times and information.
You can also quickly start directions from favourite locations, or just search for places on your iPhone and then pick up the directions from the smartwatch.
You’ll get directions for walking, driving as well as transit and cycling.
What’s not clear is whether Google will use the Taptic Engine to deliver subtle directions without you needing to look at your watch.
Apple Maps walking directions has different haptic codes for left and right, which can make you look less lost as you navigate urban areas.
It’s a symbolic step to see big name apps reappear on Apple Watch. When the likes of Google Maps, Amazon and eBay pulled apps back in 2017, it was viewed by many as a sign that the App Store for Apple Watch wasn’t being embraced by users.
But fast forward three years and the Apple Watch now has its own dedicated App Store, and improvements in processor power from the Series 3 onwards has greatly improved the experience.
We’ll be getting hands on with Google Maps on Apple Watch as soon as it lands.