Android Wear has come along quite nicely since the launch of the first watches last year, with new apps and new features being added all the time, and although we’re still waiting on Hangouts 4.0 with the proper Hangouts Android Wear app, there is still plenty of things one can do with the platform in its current state. One of those things is now the ability to use Google Maps. Google Maps for Android Wear was first spotted running on watches back in May, but at the time there was no official announcement from Google about the release of the app, not to mention it was in a bit of a buggy state and not all the features worked. About a week later at Google I/O 2015 Google announced the Google Maps for Android Wear API for developers so they could take advantage of the code for use with their apps for the platform.
Today, Google is taking the wraps off of their officially released Google Maps for Android Wear app with an update that brings in new functionality and a more polished experience from when users first started to see it appear on their Android Wear devices. Over on their blog post Google highlights the finer points of what Maps for Android Wear can do for users, including the ability to speak the “OK Google” command and asking the watch to navigate to a designated location to start the directions. By doing this users will be able to bring up full screen navigation on the watch display and have the app guide them to wherever they’re trying to go, and for those weary about battery drain, whenever the user isn’t actively looking at the display the maps will be in “battery-saving mode” with a black and white display.
In addition to the Maps app being official and fully functional from your wrist, Google also mentions that plenty of other apps integrate with Maps for Android Wear to provide a better experience to users like Trulia, Hotel Tonight, TripAdvisor, Priceline, Foursquare, Zillow, and more. With this integration users can glance at their wrist for relevant info regarding these apps all without having to pick up their phone.