Wear OS to provide navigation from Google Maps without a phone nearby
We may earn a commission if you make a purchase from the links on this page.
Today, during Samsung's Unpacked event that introduced the world to Sammy's latest foldable handsets and the latest iteration of its Wear OS-powered smartwatches, Google made an announcement that consumers will love. Sometime later this year, those with a timepiece powered by Wear OS (precise version numbers are unknown) will be able to open and use the Google Maps app for navigation even if they don't have their phone with them.
Google says that once this feature is added to the operating system, users will be able to go for a run or a bike ride, leave their phone home, and still take advantage of the navigation features provided by YouTube. And while not every Wear OS watch is going to receive this feature, Google did not mention any particular timepieces or Wear OS versions in lin e to receive it.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 later this year should be able to provide Google Maps navigation without a phone nearby
However, since this announcement was made during the official introduction of the Galaxy Watch 5 line, you could bet your sweet bippy that users of the latest and greatest smartwatches from Samsung will get the first crack at it. It also isn't clear whether the technology involved will limit the feature to those models that support LTE although that limitation seems likely.
Pre-order your new Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 model now!
Last year Google and Samsung teamed up to combine Sammy's home-grown Tizen OS, which has been used on the Galaxy Watch since the beginning in 2018, with Wear OS. The combined software, still called Wear OS, opens apps faster, allows batteries to run longer, and delivers more apps and watch faces.
While the gang from Mountain View didn't say which timepieces will support this Google Maps feature, besides the Galaxy Watch 5 line one would have to assume that the inaugural Google Pixel Watch, to be released this fall, will also have the same capability.
Currently, for a Wear OS user to obtain navigation from the Google Maps app, the user needs to have his phone nearby.