Apple Watch support returning to Google Maps 'in the future,' Google says

in General Discussion edited May 2017
Google on Monday responded to revelations that the latest Google Maps update is stripped of all Apple Watch support, saying it expects to return compatibility with Apple's wearable at some point in the future.

Earlier today, AppleInsider reported Google quietly removed support for Apple Watch in the latest iteration of Google Maps released last month. The app's release notes did not convey the change to users, and Google remained mum on the subject until now.

"We removed Apple Watch support from our latest iOS release, but expect to support it again in the future," a Google spokesperson told AppleInsider.

When, exactly, Apple Watch users can expect Google Maps integration is unclear.

A basic iteration of its flagship iOS app, Google Maps for watchOS offered turn-by-turn driving, walking and transit directions for recently visited points of interest. Unlike Apple's first-party Maps solution, users were forced to conduct searches on a tethered iPhone. Google Maps for Apple Watch also lacked the ability to display a conventional map view, severely limiting its utility to end users.

As indicated in today's report, Google's decision to pull its dedicated mapping app from watchOS appears to mirror app strategies from other major companies. Specifically, Amazon and eBay previously fielded titles for Apple's wearable, but removed those assets in recent updates.

In most cases, the companies' app revisions are weeks old and the removal of watchOS functionality went largely unnoticed. This suggests the respective watchOS app versions were not widely used.


  • Reply 1 of 12
    i-boyi-boy Posts: 2member
    Something to do with the impending watch OS4 update? 
  • Reply 2 of 12
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,713member
    Google Maps pulling watch support was the one that made the least sense. Why would they want to discourage potential Google ecosystem users? They can't spare a couple of engineers to make a usable watch app?
  • Reply 3 of 12
    anton zuykovanton zuykov Posts: 705member
    john.b said:
    They can't spare a couple of engineers to make a usable watch app?
    Of course Google absolutely can...but for some reason they didn't want to, or there is some change that was unexpected to them and now they have to quickly fix something that wasn't an issue in the previous version/iteration. 
  • Reply 4 of 12
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    This is all a coincidence, they'll be back. As Apple Watch gains popularity there's no way these companies will miss the boat.
  • Reply 5 of 12
    eonaeoneonaeon Posts: 5member
    Any chance they commented on their badly neglected YouTube app for the Apple TV (hasn't been updated in a year, and has some outstanding bugs)...  :p
    edited May 2017 pscooter63equality72521
  • Reply 6 of 12
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 1,856member
    What's a Google Map?   And, why would anybody with an IPhone &  Apple Watch want to use it?
    greg uvanjbdragonjony0pscooter63
  • Reply 7 of 12
    greg uvangreg uvan Posts: 41member
    What's a Google Map?   And, why would anybody with an IPhone &  Apple Watch want to use it?
    That's how *I* feel.
  • Reply 8 of 12
    theoapotheoapo Posts: 1member
    What's a Google Map?   And, why would anybody with an IPhone &  Apple Watch want to use it?
    Personally i can find several reasons:

    Voice directions nd street pronunciation in greek are aweful...
    Voice search in Google Maps works perfectly in greek.
    Lane assist is awesome in Google Maps.
    Google Maps are more accurate in Greece.
    Turn by turn in Apple Maps was not offered in a recent trip to Cyprus.
    I don't own a Mac and I can't access Apple Maps from my Microsoft PC.

    I understand that many of my problems are regional related but you asked...

    On the other hand, the Apple Maps UI and Watch integration are awesome but of no use for me...
  • Reply 9 of 12
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 18,060member
    What's a Google Map?   And, why would anybody with an IPhone &  Apple Watch want to use it?
    Apparently a lot of folks had some reason to. It's #9 in the App Store.

    edited May 2017
  • Reply 10 of 12
    This is a tuff one for me... Even when we had the watch integration it was not as slick as the Apple Maps version.   Apple Maps is very clean, slick and I love the new updates.  The bottom line though is that is lags behind Google in useful features and information.  Apple Maps has really come a long way and it honestly is my daily driver for most things but I still have the somewhat frequent issue of Apple Maps not knowing of a place (especially newer) or having close, but not accurate information.  Their traffic and route estimater has become a LOT better... used to I could do a 6 hour trip and Apple tell me 5hr and 45 min lets say... but Google, understanding the traffic patterns and time of day, slated me around 6hr and 30 min which was far more accurate.  Now I find Apple is much more in line.

    The biggest things that keep me from using Apple Maps exclusively are:

    • Lane Assist - Seriously... being somewhere you've never been makes this a must have feature
    • Overall info - Still missing a lot of places on Apple Maps
    • No Web based/windows App - I still use a Windows PC for work from time to time and it would be nice to look up info and directions using one platform (apple).

    Apple Maps is getting there but still not quite as good as Google... has some features but not as extensive as Google either... Like "search on route" isn't as robust... Either way... Here is to hoping they continue to improve!

  • Reply 11 of 12
    ophyllisophyllis Posts: 1member
    I am a 90 year old grandma starting out to drive from Walnut Creek to the wilds of San Leandro warehouse district.  I had told Google maps that yes I wanted it to print me a map and send the info to my iPhone.  As I pulled out of my driveway, to my surprise, my iWatch vibrated and printed in very readable print that I was to go to the end of the street and turn left.  It proceeded to tell me, in good time, how many miles to my next exit, the graphic for the highway I was on and exit number. There was no sound from iPhone, but it had the map.

    I loved it.  The instructions were right on my wrist.  With my hand on the wheel, I could read it very well. I was little unnerved, because I hadn't asked for special help, but it was very welcome. When I wanted to leave and set the map to go home, it refused to help. I was forced to follow my iPhone.  I have tried to repeat the experience, but I guess I was a test case.  Go for it Apple!!! Grandmas of the world unite.
  • Reply 12 of 12
    neirbosneirbos Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    What's a Google Map?   And, why would anybody with an IPhone &  Apple Watch want to use it?
    I want to live Apple Maps because of the great integration with watch, Siri etc (and I just rented a car with CarPlay, gear feature) however I still find Google maps a superior mapping app.  Better saving.  More accurate searching.   I just did a vacation in NFLD and apple maps couldn't find half the places, Google Maps could and with great info.   Apple Maps and Apple products in general have great integration but it means nothing if you can't find the data.  Keep up the effort, but they have big catch up to do to Google in the mapping area. 
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