Google Maps is a powerful navigation app that can be used on a variety of devices, including Wear OS smartwatches. Using Google Maps on your smartwatch is a great way to get directions, find places, and explore the world around you without having to reach for your phone.
When using Google Maps on your smartwatch, you do not need to get out your phone. However, if your smartwatch doesn’t support an LTE internet connection directly, then you will need your connected phone nearby.
Google Maps only works on Wear OS watches with version 3.0 and above. To check which OS version you have and to upgrade your OS version, check this post (How to update Wear OS on Smartwatch?)
Some important requirements to use Google Maps on your smartwatch:
- Location services must be enabled on both your phone and your smartwatch
- The distance unit (km or miles) will be used based on what is setup on your connected phone
- Some voice commands may not work with Google Maps
- Turn off Power-saving mode on your watch and phone
What features of Google Maps are available?
The features of Google Maps that are available will vary depending on the make and model of your watch. However, most smartwatches will support the following features:
- Getting directions to a destination: You can use Google Maps to get directions to a destination on your watch. Google Maps will provide you with turn-by-turn directions and estimated arrival times.
- Seeing your current location and nearby places: You can use Google Maps to see your current location and nearby places on your watch. Google Maps will also show you the distance to nearby places and the estimated travel time.
- Searching for places and getting information about them: You can use Google Maps to search for places on your watch and get information about them, such as their address, phone number, and website.
- Viewing maps of different locations: You can use Google Maps to view maps of different locations on your watch. You can also zoom in and out of maps and pan around to view different areas.
How to use Google Maps?
Get directions on your watch
You can look for a location on your watch or your phone. If you setup navigation on your phone, the directions will also appear on your watch. If your phone goes to a lock screen, the navigation directions will continue to be displayed on your watch. You will get every turn instruction directly on your watch so there is not need to keep your phone out.
Search for a location
- Wake up your watch if the screen is blank
- Swipe up on the watch face looking for the Google Maps app and open it
- Touch Search – using the keypad on the watch, type in the name of the location
Use your voice to get directions
- You can use Google Assistant on your watch, using your voice say “Hey Google” (How to use Google Assistant on your Smartwatch?)
- Ask for directions by saying “Navigate to a nearby coffee shop” or something similar.
Use Google maps without your phone (for Wear 3.0+)
- Open Google Maps on your watch
- Use direct input or your voice to find a location, or you can also touch the map to choose a location
- Select Walk, Bicycle or Car for your mode of transportation
- Start following directions.
Once you’re signed in, you can start using Google Maps on your watch. Here are some of the things you can do:
- Get directions: You can get directions to a specific address, place of interest, or contact.
- Find places: You can search for places by name, address, or category.
- Explore the map: You can zoom in and out of the map, and pan around to see different areas.
- View your location: You can see your current location on the map.
- Get turn-by-turn navigation: If your smartwatch has a GPS, you can get turn-by-turn navigation while you’re walking, biking, or driving.
Additional tips for using Google Maps:
- You can use voice commands to control Google Maps on your watch. For example, you can say “Navigate to the nearest coffee shop” or “What’s the traffic like on my way home?”
- You can save your favorite places and contacts to Google Maps so that you can easily access them from your watch.
- To save battery life, you can download maps of the areas you’ll be visiting ahead of time. To do this, open Google Maps on your phone, tap the three lines in the top left corner, and then tap “Offline maps.”
- You can also use Google Maps on your watch without your phone, but you’ll need to download maps of the areas you’ll be visiting first. To do this, open Google Maps on your watch, tap the three lines in the top left corner, and then tap “Offline maps.”
- If you’re using Google Maps for turn-by-turn directions, try to keep your screen on so that you don’t miss any turns.
- You can also use gestures to control Google Maps on some smartwatches. For example, you can swipe left or right to scroll through the map.
- If you have a Samsung Galaxy Watch, you can enable mirroring and start navigation on your phone and then leave your phone behind. When you enable mirroring, your watch will take over navigation from your phone. This only works on watches paired with Android devices.
- You can use Google Maps to get directions to a destination even if your smartphone is not with you. However, you will need to have an internet connection on your smartwatch.
Specific tips for using Google Maps on different smartwatches:
- Samsung Galaxy Watch: Swipe up from your watch’s home screen and tap the Google Maps icon.
- Wear OS: Open the app drawer on your watch and tap the Google Maps icon.
How to use Offline Google Maps?
If you don’t have Wear 3.0, you can use an offline Google map on your watch, but you must be connected to your phone. However, with an offline map, you don’t need to be connected to the internet on your phone or your watch.
- Open the Google Maps app
- Navigate to the map area you want to download
- Touch to open your profile icon in the top right corner
- Touch on Offline maps
- Touch on Select Your Own Map
- Using your finger, move the map to show the area you want to download
- Touch on Download
Set up a route on your phone in Google Maps using the offline map. With your watch connected to the phone, you can put the phone away and see the directions appear on your watch.
Frequently asked questions and answers for using Google Maps:
Q: How do I use Google Maps on my smartwatch?
A: To use Google Maps on your watch, you will need to have a Google account and your watch must be connected to your smartphone.
Once your watch is connected, you can open the Google Maps app on your watch. You can then use Google Maps to:
- Get directions to a destination.
- See your current location and nearby places.
- Search for places and get information about them.
- View maps of different locations.
Q: I’m having trouble using Google Maps on my watch. What should I do?
A: If you’re having trouble using Google Maps on your watch, there are a few things you can try:
- Make sure that your smartwatch is connected to your smartphone.
- Make sure that the Google Maps app is up to date on your watch.
- Try restarting your smartwatch.
- Try restarting your smartphone.
- Unpair and re-pair your smartwatch and smartphone.
Common problems and solutions for using Google Maps:
Problem: Google Maps is not working on my watch.
Solution: Make sure that your watch is running a compatible version of Wear OS. Google Maps requires Wear OS 2.0 or higher. You can check your watch’s version of Wear OS in the Settings app.
Also, make sure that your watch is paired with your phone and that both devices have a strong internet connection.
If you’re still having trouble, try restarting your watch and phone.
Problem: Google Maps is slow on my watch.
Solution: Try the following:
- Make sure that your watch has enough storage space. If your watch is low on storage, it may slow down Google Maps.
- Clear the cache and data for Google Maps. To do this, go to Settings > Apps & notifications > See all apps > Google Maps > Storage & cache > Clear cache and Clear storage.
- Restart your watch.
Problem: Google Maps is not giving me turn-by-turn directions.
Solution: Make sure that your watch has a GPS connection. You can check your watch’s GPS status in the Settings app.
If your watch has a GPS connection, but you’re still not getting turn-by-turn directions, try restarting your watch.
Problem: Google Maps is not showing my location correctly.
Solution: Make sure that your watch’s location services are turned on. To do this, go to Settings > Location > Location services > Turn on.
Also, make sure that your watch has a GPS connection.
If you’re still having trouble, try restarting your watch.
Problem: Google Maps is draining my smartwatch’s battery.
Solution: Try the following:
- Reduce the screen brightness.
- Turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth if you’re not using them.
- Disable location services for apps that you’re not using.
- Use a battery saver mode.
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