Owners of Wear OS-powered smartwatches will be delighted to know that Google has finally added support for standalone turn-by-turn navigation when using its Maps app. The feature was promised several months ago and is now finally available for Wear OS-powered smartwatches from any brand, provided they meet some minimum requirements. While turn-by-turn navigation was previously available on Wear OS-powered smartwatches, it was able to do so by relaying information from the connected smartphone. The new update now makes it possible to leave the smartphone behind.
Google has mentioned that there are a few conditions to make standalone turn-by-turn navigation possible on your Wear OS-powered smartwatch. The base requirement is the need for a smartwatch that supports LTE or cellular connectivity. Along with this comes the need for a working LTE plan. The watch will also need to be paired with an Android phone for the hand over feature (from smartphone to watch) to work. Google in its support documents also states that users can initiate turn-by-turn navigation when connected to Wi-Fi networks as well.
If the smartwatch checks the above requirements, the rest mostly happens automatically. A user can initiate turn-by-turn navigation from the watch both when connected to a smartphone or standalone. Those who prefer to use watch-based navigation only, can turn off the ‘Mirror on the phone’ by going into Settings>Mirroring.
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