Google’s smartwatch operating system has offered directions and turn-by-turn navigation since the first Android Wear watches launched in 2014. But what if you want to actually view a full map on your wristwatch?
Now you can. Google is rolling out Maps 9.9 for Android phones and tablets. If you’ve got an Android Wear device all you need to do is install the latest version of Maps on your phone and the new Maps app should show up on your watch.
The user interface has been tweaked a bit to look good on a 1.6 inch or smaller display. There are zoom in and out buttons (you can also use pinch-to-zoom if you can fit two fingers on the screen), a button that you can press to bring the map to your current location, and compass button.
You can view nearby locations and use the watch app to navigate to those locations without pulling out your phone.
Google Maps for Android Wear is an “always-on” app that can stay visible until you dismiss it. Worried that full-color maps are going to drain your battery? Maps can save power by dimming the screen and switching from color to black and white when you haven’t interacted with the map in a while.