The wrist version of Google Maps is simple: Choose between home and work when you open the app. Then “force touch” the screen by applying extra pressure, and tap the Travel Mode button that appears. You can switch between driving, walking and transit directions, or pull up recent destinations entered into Google Maps.
Unfortunately, you can’t display a full map — which you can do with Apple Maps on the watch — or enter a destination on the watch itself, which you’ll still need to do on your phone.
A dividing line has always separated Google Maps users from Apple Maps users. Google Maps was the default app in iOS before Apple replaced it with its own app in iOS 6 in 2012. But it had a disastrous launch; the features were not up to par with Google Maps. It even led to to the creation of a parody Twitter account, @iOS6Maps.
In the years since, though, Apple has worked on stepping up its maps game. The iOS 9 update included a much-needed makeover that included accurate transit directions and schedules. At WWDC in June, Apple said its iOS app is used 3.5 times more than Google Maps — but take that with a grain of salt, as Apple Maps comes preinstalled on iOS devices.
The Google Maps update also lets you compare ETAs for driving, biking and walking to a desination, and fixes a few unspecified bugs.