Google Maps picks up its easy public transit directions on Wear OS

Google Pixel Watch 2 hands-on
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google has started pushing a server-side update for Maps that brings its public transit directions to Wear OS 3 or above devices.
  • Users can search for a place and find navigation methods like driving, walking, trains, and more.
  • Maps will offer "recommended routes" and all routes, letting users decide which they prefer, along with the steps they'll need to take.

Google is beginning its rollout of a new feature in Maps that should give users hands-free directions.

As spotted by 9to5Google, Google Maps' latest update is rolling out today (Mar. 19) as a server-side update as part of version 11.119.0702 on Wear OS. Users can now search for a place on their watch and find directions for different methods of public transportation. Maps will display options for walking, driving, trains, and more.

Once you're ready to navigate, users can decide between Maps' "recommended routes" or all available routes.

Tapping on either will expand a list of ways users can reach their destination with information on train times and more. A "Preview Route" option awaits users in a route's list of steps, letting you see every train stop and which is yours before selecting it.

The publication states Google Maps' new public transit directions Wear OS' tile to start navigating to "Home" or "Work." Additionally, exiting Maps' new public transit directions will display a train icon at the bottom of your watch face. Tapping this sends you back to the app for an update on where you're going.

As this is a server-side update, it may take a little while for your Wear OS 3 device or above to display the new feature.

Google briefly highlighted Wear OS' public transit directions in Maps during MWC 2024. The company stated users could mirror directions they've started looking at on their phone to their Pixel Watch 2 or other Wear OS device for a hands-free experience. Wear OS' update for Maps will likely work well with the Android app's public transit update, which rolled out in November.

Meanwhile, this was one of a few updates we've been waiting on for Wear OS ever since Google detailed the March feature drop. Original Pixel Watch owners received some Watch 2 features like Pace training, heart zone training, and the auto workout mode. The Fitbit Relax app also made its way to the first-gen watch, bringing with it guided breathing exercises for a wellness break.

Nickolas Diaz
News Writer

Nickolas is always excited about tech and getting his hands on it. Writing for him can vary from delivering the latest tech story to scribbling in his journal. When Nickolas isn't hitting a story, he's often grinding away at a game or chilling with a book in his hand.