Google has quietly rolled out an update for the iOS version of its Google Maps app to make it compatible with the Apple Watch. Version 4.11.0 of the app now allows owners of the Cupertino-based company’s smartwatch to see recent routes and get turn-by-turn directions from their wrist.
The watch app doesn’t feature a full size color map like the smartphone version, instead it is has been designed more as a companion app. Users are able get directions from a blue arrow on the watch, see the distance until the next direction and quickly get routes to saved locations such as their office or home.
Additionally, any directions that get looked up on the iPhone app will be automatically synced to the Apple Watch, meaning they can be accessed as soon as you launch Google Maps from the smartwatch. The app also supports all the modes of transportation that can be viewed on the iPhone, including biking, walking, driving and taking public transport.
Outside of adding Apple Watch compatibility, the update brings estimate time of arrival comparisons between different modes of transport, the ability to call businesses and get directions from a list of places, a nearby transit widget for the iOS Notification Center, and a number of bug fixes and general improvements.
Up until now the only option for Apple Watch owners who wanted to use the device to get directions was Apple Maps which, although much improved since its fall 2012 launch, is still considered inferior to Google Maps by most people.
Now that Google Maps has launched on the Apple Watch, chances are that Google will bring more of its apps to the platform in the future.
The updated app is available from Apple's iTunes Store .