Google Maps re-gains its Apple Watch app, adds CarPlay Dashboard support

Google Maps
Google Maps (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Google Maps has received an important update today.
  • Google brought back the Apple Watch app it took away in 2017.
  • There's new support for CarPlay Dashboard, too.

Google has today announced an update to its Google Maps iPhone app with two important features, one of which is actually the return of an old friend. Can I please get a welcome back for the Google Maps Apple Watch app?

Google did previously have a Google Maps presence on Apple Watch but it was removed in 2017. Now it's back, with Google keen to point out that it makes it easier than ever to get the location information that you need, when you need it.

Quickly get estimated arrival times and step-by-step directions to destinations you've saved, like Home or Work, and other shortcuts you've designated in the app. For all other destinations, you can start navigating from your phone and pick up where you left off on your watch.

Google Maps Animated Cairplay Ashboard

Google Maps Animated Cairplay Ashboard (Image credit: Google)

The addition of CarPlay Dashboard support is arguably the most important addition, however. With the feature enabled Google Maps can now provide navigation information alongside other information like audio controls and calendar data. Now, users won't need to be inside the Google Maps app just to see where their next turn is.

In the CarPlay Dashboard you can now switch or pause songs from your favorite media app, rewind or fast forward podcasts or audiobooks, or quickly check calendar appointments without ever leaving turn-by-turn navigation in Google Maps. The information is displayed in a split screen view so you can get the information you need while keeping your focus on the road.

Google announced the update today and says that the Apple Watch feature will be arriving with users "worldwide in the coming weeks".

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.