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How to get driving directions on the Apple Watch

How to get driving directions on the Apple Watch

Gone are the days when paper maps were used to navigate unknown roads and cities. Now, we have smart devices that put our navigation tools on our wrists and pockets. This guide shows you how to get directions Apple Watch.

If you are a fan of Google Maps, you won’t find it on your Apple smartwatch. Google dropped support in 2017, though you can still use Google Maps on CarPlay, iOS, and iPadOS.

Apple Maps is a great alternative that works on all devices manufactured by Apple. On the Apple Watch, it is represented as an upward-pointing white arrow captured in a blue circle. This circle is over an intersection on a map at the bottom of the application icon.

Apple Watch displays the Maps icon

Apple divides the Maps main screen into five components: Search, Location, Favorites, Collections, and Recent.

Most of the information you’ll see comes from the Maps app on your iPhone. For example, if you normally connect your iPhone to CarPlay for directions, all recent visits appear in Maps on your iPhone and are transferred to your Apple Watch. On the other hand, if you use the Apple Watch to find directions, these destinations also appear in Maps on iPhone.

Favorites and collections are created on iPhone. A «collection» is a group of destinations shared via email, text messages, social networks, and so on. «Favorites» provides quick access to your personal destinations, which can be useful if you travel to the same hotel or amusement park during your vacation.

The good part about Apple’s navigation system is that the watch side includes haptic feedback. When directions change or you need to turn around, you’ll hear «songs» on your device. You will also feel a slight touch on your forearm.

How to use Maps search on Apple Watch

First, tap Digital Crown to launch the Apple Watch home screen.

Then find and tap the Maps icon on the app grid. With the app open, tap the «Search» box shown with a magnifying glass.

Using the search function in the Maps application on the Apple Watch

Here, you can dictate an address, doodle, or extract a destination from your contacts.

Choose dictation, doodles, contacts in search

Maps also search for destinations by location and list them in «Nearby.» Categories include restaurants, fast food, gas stations and more.

The Maps app shows you restaurants, food, and more in Nearby Search

For this example, we touched on Smithfield’s Chicken ‘N Bar-BQ which appears in the Restaurant section. Rotate the digital crown and the clock will scroll through the options for walking, driving and public transport. As we want driving directions, please touch the car balloon under «How to get there».

Maps show you different ways to navigate to your destination

Finally, tap the car icon on the next screen to start browsing. You may see a single «suggested» route or multiple «suggested» and «alternative» routes, depending on your destination. Use Digital Crown to navigate multiple routes.

Navigation starts immediately when you touch the desired route.

The Apple Watch Maps app shows a suggested route

How to use Favorites in Maps on Apple Watch

Launch the Maps app on your Apple Watch by tapping Digital Crown and then tapping its icon.

Then tap a destination in the «Favorites» section you’ve assigned from the Maps app on your iPhone. From there, select the car icon on the next screen. Again, you may see a single «suggested» route or multiple «suggested» and «alternative» routes, depending on your destination. Use Digital Crown to navigate multiple routes.

Navigation starts immediately when you touch the desired route.

Using Favorites in the Maps app to find suggested routes

How to use Recently on Maps on Apple Watch

As before, tap Digital Crown on the Apple Watch home screen, and then select the Maps icon to launch the app.

From there, scroll down to the «Recent» section and select a destination. Then tap the car icon on the next screen. You may see a single «suggested» route or multiple «suggested» and «alternative» routes, depending on your destination. Use Digital Crown to navigate multiple routes.

Navigation starts immediately when you touch the desired route.

Use Recents in the Maps app to find suggested routes

How to use Siri to get directions on your Apple Watch

Press and hold Digital Crown until you see this message on the screen:

Siri asks: How can I help you?

You can also press the digital crown once to wake up the clock and then say «Hello Siri».

Then say “Navigate to [tu destino]». Siri then searches for the location and gets driving directions.

As with the other methods, tap the car icon on the next screen. Again, you may see a single «suggested» route or multiple «suggested» and «alternative» routes, depending on your destination. Use Digital Crown to navigate multiple routes.

Navigation starts immediately when you touch the desired route.

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