Gone are the days of using paper maps to navigate from place to place, as the technology revolution has brought all those roads, places, and points of interest into one neat package with the Google Maps application available for smartphones and smartwatches.
Wherever you need to be, whether it’s a long-distance drive across the country or directions to the nearest Chinese restaurant, Google Maps can point you in the right direction. It doesn’t matter what mode of transport you need to use, either; Google Maps will get you there by car, by train, by bicycle, or by foot.
You don’t even need a particularly strong signal, as the app can track your location using 3G and 4G signals to pinpoint exactly where you are on the planet.
Google Maps is perhaps the premier navigational system for smartwatches, with Apple Maps offering the iOS alternative on their own wearables and smartphones.
Google has been slowly developing the technology over the past decade, and ever since Google Earth was launched—which provides a detailed map of just about every road on the planet—the potential of Google’s foray into the area of GPS technology was evident.
How Does GPS Work for Google Maps?
GPS of all types works by communicating with satellites above the surface of the earth. For GPS in particular, there are 24 satellites spaced out around the globe, so no matter where you are, you can still pick up a signal.
GPS for Google Maps works using triangulation, which uses the signal from three different satellites to pinpoint exactly where you are. An extra satellite may also be used when determining your elevation.
It’s really as simple as that; however, there are blind spots where satellites can’t pick up your location, for example, when you’re traveling across an ocean or underground. Thankfully, those in the northern hemisphere looking to find their way with Google Maps won’t be disappointed, as most satellite coverage is above the equator. Some countries, which didn’t provide data to assist Google in the rollout of their app, are not able to use Google Maps, including Serbia, Cyprus, and Tajikistan.
Top 5 Smartwatches That Support Google Maps
With so many smartwatches offering GPS functionality nowadays, it can be hard to choose one that will serve you best, as the majority of Wear OS wearables can install and use Google Maps. The selection of five smartwatches below all support Google Maps, so choosing one is simply a matter of considering how each watch’s other features fit into your life.
- Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle: This Wear OS watch features built-in GPS compatible with Google Maps, as well as an altimeter. It has a 1.28-inch screen perfect for viewing maps and directions on.
- TicWatch Pro 3: With extended battery power, this is an excellent smartwatch for GPS tracking, as it enables you to follow the directions on screen for hours using battery saving mode.
- Apple Watch Series 6: If you’ve got an Apple Watch, you might naturally lean toward using Apple Maps to navigate; however, Google Maps also lets you browse locations and directions, too.
- Huawei Watch 2: The Sport Edition of this watch makes navigation easy with fast connectivity to GPS, while also letting you navigate your way from A to B with only your voice.
- Emporio Armani 3: Direct from the fashion house comes this stylish smartwatch, which not only looks amazing, but also offers a clean and user-friendly Google Maps feature too.
How to Use Google Maps on Your Smartwatch
To use Google Maps on your smartwatch, simply go to the Google Play Store and install it directly onto your watch. Using it on a smartwatch, as opposed to a phone, will mean getting accustomed to using your voice with Google Assistant to get the app up and running.
Swipe left to bring up Google Assistant and speak clearly, saying “navigate to” and then your destination. The screen will then reset to Google Maps and provide you with the exact directions. It will show everything from the turns you need to take to what time you are expected to arrive.
While it’s convenient to have the directions right there on your wrist, with no need to constantly take out and check your phone, some smartwatches will require the use of your phone as well. For example, some Garmin smartwatches will only be able to give directions if it’s first done on your phone with the help of an app like Navigator Pro. However, the vast majority of smartwatches using Google Maps do not also require the use of a phone.
Benefits of GPS on Smartwatches
Having Google Maps on your smartwatch offers plenty of advantages over using your phone, especially if you are doing any kind of sporting activity and want to limit the weight and equipment you’re carrying.
As well as offering GPS capabilities, many smartwatches can take calls and send messages just like a phone can, so although they don’t offer a large screen to browse the internet and access websites, smartwatches have a distinct advantage in being small, lightweight and compact, waterproof, durable, and easy to access. Athletes and fitness buffs can also use them to measure everything from heart rate to steps taken.
Besides these advantages, smartwatches also have a much longer battery life than phones, so no matter whether you’re in the city or out enjoying the countryside, your smartwatch will always be there for you when you need accurate GPS navigation with Google Maps.
Follow us on social media to stay up to date with our latest articles
A top of the line copywriter with more than a decade of writing experience with many high-end and diverse multinational clients. Lots of experience and interest in writing about technology.
Currently living a rural life in South Yorkshire, and devoted to work. Owner of Anglo Content writing services.