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Wear OS no longer needs your phone for Google Maps navigation

The feature can work with LTE and Wi-Fi smartwatches.
By
January 6, 2023
A Google Pixel Watch displays directions in the Google Maps app.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • Google has enabled standalone turn-by-turn Google Maps navigation on Wear OS.
  • Wear OS watches will now be able to use Google Maps without a phone.
  • The feature will work for LTE watches and Wi-Fi watches (if connected to a Wi-Fi network).

A long-requested Google Maps navigation feature has finally made its way to Wear OS watches. The new feature will allow owners of Wear OS watches to use Google Maps without the need for a phone.

In a recent posting on the company’s Wear OS help forum, Google announced that it has enabled phoneless turn-by-turn navigation on Google Maps for Wear OS. The new feature works on both LTE and Wi-Fi smartwatches, but Wi-Fi watches will need to be connected to a Wi-Fi network to be used.

We’re excited to share that you can now get Google Maps turn by turn navigation right on your LTE* watch, no phone required. If you have an LTE-enabled* watch, or your watch is connected to the internet via WiFi, you can now enjoy having Maps available on your wrist.

In order to start navigation, all you need to do is go to the Maps app on your watch and enter the destination you want to go to. The tech giant adds that if you have mirroring enabled, you can start navigation on your phone. When you’re far enough away from your phone, the watch will take over.

Google provides these instructions for using Maps:

  • Open Maps from your watch.
  • Use the voice or keyboard tool to input your destination. You can also tap the map to view your location.
  • Select your mode of transportation. From here, you can view your ETA.
  • Start your walk, bicycle, or car trip.

Google said that it would bring offline navigation to Wear OS later in the year back in August 2022. Although the company missed its expected release date, as we’re firmly in 2023 now, this is better late than never.