Google continues to be a dominant force in the online mapping space. Despite recent setbacks with their partly crowdsourced maps, the Google Maps team announced today an update for both the Maps app for Android Wear and extended APIs for Wear developers. Before installing the update if you used the “Ok Google, navigate to” voice command from a Wear device it would open the app on your phone. However, after installing today’s update, the voice command will launch the navigation map and provide the turn by turn instructions on your Wear device.
This builds on the previous update to the Maps mini app for Wear which introduced scrollable maps and a ‘low power’ always on screen mode. The Wear device still needs to be connected to a phone however for the Maps app to function.
Google also announced new developer APIs to allow 3rd party developers to integrate Google Maps into their own Wear apps. At launch, they have announced integration from several partners, from these announced partners only TripAdvisor, and perhaps FourSquare to a lesser extent, seem to have a large presence here in Australia. Hopefully, now that the API is out in the open we will see some innovative uses for Maps in Wear apps available in Australia soon.
What do you think, are you waiting for the time you can navigate to new or familiar destinations from your Android Wear watch? Lets us know if you see the app update.