Google Maps on Wear OS finally incorporates transit directions

Google Maps on Wear OS now incorporates transit directions as part of the app’s latest update on smartwatches. The launch of this particular feature for Maps on your wrist has been a long time coming, but users can rest easy now that the wait is just about over.

Google announced the update as part of everything going on at Mobile World Congress this week. It also launches alongside other Wear OS changes that Google says are intended to help optimize and improve battery life and performance. This is in addition to the announcement of one of the newest smartwatches to come with Wear OS. The OnePlus Watch 2. In fact, the new battery life and performance changes are specifically for the OnePlus Watch 2. Compatibility will spread to other devices. Although Google hasn’t specified a timeframe yet.

That means you won’t have to upgrade to a new watch just to see these improvements. But you will end up having to wait a little while most likely. The changes to battery life aren’t improvements aren’t massive, but they will probably take some time to implement across hardware. To achieve these improvements, the new software update lets the microcontroller unit handle notification processing. This is something that’s handled by the application processor on every other Wear OS smartwatch. Worth noting is that the MCU uses less power. So tasks like reading notifications and sending quick replies in messages won’t drain the battery as much.

Transit directions from Google Maps on Wear OS can show you departure times

Wear OS Google Maps Transit TimesWear OS Google Maps Transit Times

Imagine if you would, you’re rushing to your stop to make sure you don’t miss the train or bus you’re supposed to be on. You take a quick break to stop, pull your phone out of your pocket, and check the departure times. You want to be sure you have time to get there. But this break to pull out your phone and check costs you precious time that results in you missing your transit. Google’s update to Maps on Wear OS should help alleviate this sort of situation.

You’ll now be able to use Maps on your wrist and check things like departure times, and even get guided directions. Since you can do all this from your wrist now it should be easier to continue to your destination. Additionally, it’s now possible to mirror directions from your phone to your watch.

The update to Maps is also one of two new improvements to Wear OS. There are some updates to Google Wallet on Wear OS too. Namely, the ability to access boarding passes from the watch. This works in tandem with the new update to Maps that lets you check departure times. You can more easily look at the departure time of your chosen transit method and then pull up the boarding pass once you get there. The Wallet update also now lets you access event tickets, loyalty cards, and even your gym membership.