Today, Google made two announcements about Google Maps for Apple platforms. First, Google's app now works with the dashboard view on CarPlay screens, allowing drivers to see maps and media controls side-by-side. Second, Google is relaunching the Maps app on the Apple Watch, with turn-by-turn directions.
CarPlay's dashboard mode was introduced in iOS 13 late last year, but it only supported Apple Maps. Apple began offering other developers the ability to take advantage of it in March with the release of iOS 13.4, and today marks the finalization of Google's support for the feature. Google's blog post announcing the update says it should go into effect for all users of CarPlay-supported vehicles today.
The new Google Maps app for Apple Watch won't arrive today, though. Instead, Google promises the app is launching worldwide "in the coming weeks." The app will offer "step-by-step" directions for driving, walking, cycling, or taking public transit.
Google's announcement specifies that you can get directions to places you've previously saved, like the places you've set as your home or your workplace. To go somewhere you haven't previously saved, you'll have to start the process on your phone, Google's blog post says.
Google Maps previously offered a Watch app that was an extension of the Google Maps iPhone app, but it was pulled in 2017 with no explanation provided for the move. That was part of a general exodus of major apps from the Watch at the time that also included Amazon and others. Since then, Apple has launched a standalone App Store for the Watch. Previously, users had to initiate Watch app downloads from the iPhone.