Google Maps: New CarPlay features and a return to the Apple Watch

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Back in May 2017, Google quietly pulled support for its maps app on watchOS. The Verge contacted a Google spokesperson following the removal of Google Maps on the Apple Watch who stated “We removed Apple Watch support from our latest iOS release, but expect to support it again in the future.”

Just over 3 years later Google has held true to this statement with support for Google Maps on the Apple Watch rolling out to customers in the coming weeks via an iPhone update on the App Store. Google Maps on the Apple Watch will allow users to access walking, driving, cycling, and public transit directions right from their wrist. The app also supports ETA information and step-by-step navigation for saved locations for home and work. 

Along with resurrected support for the Apple Watch, the newest version of Google Maps additionally packs support for CarPlay Dashboard enabling users to access multimedia controls for music, audiobooks and podcasts via a split screen window in Google Maps. Without ever leaving the turn-by-turn navigation screen, the new dashboard view will minimize distractions while allowing users to multitask in the car. 

Google Maps on the Apple Watch notably offers cycling directions ahead of Apple Maps which will not support biking directions until the release of watchOS 7 later this year. Apple’s cycling directions will offer improvements such as notifications that let users know when to “dismount and walk” or “take the stairs”.