Today, Google made two announcements about Google Maps for Apple platforms. First, the Google app now works with the dashboard view on CarPlay screens, allowing drivers to view maps and media controls side-by-side. Second, Google is launching the Maps app on the Apple Watch, with turn-by-turn directions.
CarPlay desktop mode was introduced in iOS 13 late last year, but it only supported Apple Maps. Apple began offering other developers the opportunity to take advantage of it in March with the release of iOS 13.4, and today marks the end of Google support for the feature. Google’s blog post announcing the update says it should take effect for all users of CarPlay-backed vehicles today.
The new Google Maps app for the Apple Watch will not arrive today, though. Instead, Google promises that the app will launch worldwide “in the coming weeks.” The app will provide “step-by-step” instructions for driving, walking, cycling or taking public transit.
The Google Notice specifies that you may receive instructions for locations that you have previously saved, such as locations that you have designated as your home or workplace. To get somewhere you haven’t saved before, you need to start the process on your phone, says the Google blog post.
Google Maps previously offered a Watch app, which was an extension of the Google Maps iPhone app, but retired in 2017 with no explanation given for the move. This was part of an overall exodus of major apps from Watch at the time that also included Amazon and others. Since then, Apple has launched an independent App Store for Watch. Previously, users had to initiate Watch app downloads from the iPhone.
Image list from Google