The full Google Maps experience is coming to Android Wear

Android Wear watches
A better Maps experience is heading to Android Wear.

Right out of the gate, Android Wear had support for Google Maps, enabling you to get directions beamed to your wrist or search for a particular place using your voice. What you couldn't do was scroll across a map and pull up information about places like you can on a smartphone.

According to Android Central, that's changing with the arrival of Google Maps version 9.9 for Android. Once you update, Google Maps appears as a standalone app in the Android Wear menu.

The app enables you to scroll around, pinch-to-zoom (if your fingertips are small enough), pinpoint your current location and toggle compass view on and off. Zoom buttons make the process a little easier on the small screen.

Maps mojo

There's also a small pin button enabling you to scan for nearby places and navigate towards them, though Android Central reports that this is still heavily reliant on the Maps application on your smartphone.

A low-power mode reduces the map outline to black and white when you stop interacting with it. All in all, a much better Maps experience if you want to operate it from your wrist, which is helpful if you're navigating around an unfamiliar place.

Some bugs in the app suggest this isn't quite ready for primetime yet - it's only been seen running on an LG Watch Urbane - but it shouldn't be too long before Google makes this official and gives a full rundown of the features included.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.