After a lengthy absence, Google Maps is making its way back to the Apple Watch. Over the next couple of weeks, Google says it will start rolling out a new version of Maps to Apple’s wearable. The app will allow you to get walking, cycling and driving directions from your current location to your home, workplace and other destinations you’ve saved ahead of time. It will also work with public transit.
You can also use Maps on your iPhone to start navigating somewhere and then continue getting directions from your Apple Watch. Along the way, the wearable will display your estimated arrival time.
That’s not all iOS users have to forward to from Google. The company is also updating Maps to support CarPlay’s split-screen functionality. This will allow you to use media and other apps at the same time that you have Maps open. This is something CarPlay users have been requesting from Google for a while.
The timing of these updates is well-timed on Google’s part. The Apple Watch just had its best non-holiday quarter in terms of sales, making a new app for the wearable a no-brainer. More importantly, Apple Maps has come a long way since Tim Cook had to apologize for the platform’s rough launch in 2012. While it still has a ways to go, it’s more of a legitimate competitor to Google Maps than ever before — provided you mostly use Apple devices, of course. In addition to the upgrades the company plans to release alongside iOS 14, Apple has steadily expanded the availability of features like Look Around in recent months.
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