Google Maps for watchOS has been initially released in the fall of 2015.
It was just an extension of the iOS app to the Apple Watch and it did not even feature a complication.
This has changed in 2020, although the core functionality of the service still strongly relies on iOS and the paired iPhone.
How To Get Google Maps For Apple Watch
1. Download and update to the latest version of Google Maps for iOS. (Direct link).
2. Open the Watch app, on the paired iPhone.
3. In the ‘My Watch’ tab, scroll for the ‘Available Apps’ section.
4. Tap on the ‘Install’ label, available next to Google Maps.
Tip: Enable ‘Automatic App Install’ to allow all apps that are available on your iPhone and also have Apple Watch support to be installed on your watchOS device. You can do it in the ‘My Watch’ tab: General -> Automatic App Install.
How To Set Google Maps Complication
1. Wake your Apple Watch with a flick of the wrist.
2. Long-press on the Watch Face.
3. Tap on the complication slot that you wish to edit.
4. Browse and select the Google Maps complication.
Fact: The complication is simple and doesn’t provide any glanceable information. It displays the app’s logo and is actually a quick shortcut to bring up the Google Maps primary screen which shows details about your ‘Current trip’.
Can I see my location on the map?
Unfortunately, although Google Maps has been revamped, it’s still not able to show your live location on the map, on the Apple Watch. You have to pull out your iPhone to see the ‘blue dot’ on the map and get your exact location.
Conclusion: You can quickly get step-by-step directions and ETAs for destinations that you’ve saved (Home, Work or other saved shortcuts and destinations). Unfortunately, for any other new destination you have to start the navigation from the companion device and pick up from where you left off on the Apple Watch.
Are you using turn-based navigation on your Apple Watch, or you prefer your iPhone? Let us know in the comments section available below.
Related: How to get Google Maps directions for Bike-sharing Docks