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How to use Google Maps on Wear OS smartwatches


It’s easy to get turn-by-turn directions on your Wear OS smartwatch. Plus, with Wear OS, you can do it without being connected to your smartphone if your smartwatch has GPS built-in. Here’s how to use Google Maps on your Wear OS smartwatch, by voice command and manually.

If you want to use navigation on your smartwatch, the first step you should take is downloading the Google Maps app from the Play Store onto your watch.

Like I said above, if your watch has GPS and Wear OS, you can navigate without being connected to your smartphone. You can even have the map always on with the ambient display. But, even if you’re on the older version of Wear OS, you can still navigate on your watch if your phone is locked, as long as its location is still enabled.

Get turn-by-turn directions by voice

You can tell your watch to give your directions to a particular place using your voice. Here’s how:

  1. ​Wake up your watch and say “OK Google…”
  2. Then say “…navigate to [your destination]…”
  3. Then specify the mode of transportation “…by [foot, bike or car].”
  4. A Google Maps card will appear, and you may need to further clarify your destination.
  5. Turn-by-turn navigation will then begin
AndroidPIT moto 360 2015 35
You can ask for navigational help by voice or by hand / © AndroidPIT

Get turn-by-turn directions manually

If you don’t want to set a destination by voice, you can do it manually. Here’s how:

  1. Open the Google Maps app on your smartwatch
  2. Tap a destination on the map
  3. Press the Navigate button at the bottom of the display
  4. Swipe left to see the address of the destination you chose, and swipe left again to change the mode of transportation between walking, riding a bicycle or driving, then swipe again to close that menu and go

Other Google Maps tips for Wear OS

  1. Once you’ve begun navigating, you can see a list of the directions by swiping up on the green card at the bottom
  2. To see the time and distance left until you reach your destination, swipe left once
  3. To take a break from full-screen navigation and mute the directions, swipe right. To go back to navigation, tap the blue arrow on the directions notification
  4. To cancel your navigation, swipe the card up, then left and tap Exit navigation

It’s easy to get directions on your Wear OS smartwatch, whether by voice or by hand. Are there any other step-by-step instructions you want us to create for your smartwatch? Do you have any further tips to share? Let us know in the comments!

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