It’s 2023, and Smartwatches are better than ever. Modern smartwatches are capable of making calls, personally assisting you via digital assistants, and even helping you navigate.
If you are also interested in using your Smartwatch for navigation, this guide is for you.
In this WearToTrack Guide, you will learn How to use your Smartwatch for Navigation.
On top of that, I’ll also share the best navigation apps which you can use on modern smartwatches, including Apple Watch and Samsung Galaxy Watches.
Here is a related article that might interest you on the Best 15 Smartwatches for Small Wrists & Women In 2023!
Let’s get started.
The Technology Behind Navigation On Smartwatches
Before I explain how to use your smartwatches for navigation, it’s important that you know the technology which smartwatches use to provide accurate navigation. Most modern smartwatches these days use GPS technology which is basically a satellite-based navigation system.
The GPS technology was developed by the US Forces to provide guidance to their troops out in the field, air, and sea. For years, this technology remained secret, but eventually, it was made public, and now billions of devices use this technology for navigation.
In this system, you get a number of Satellites that work in coordination with each other to provide accurate guidance.
When you send the request for navigation from your Smartwatch, the system allocates three satellites that use the triangulation method to find your accurate position and provide navigation.
This technology has improved a lot over the decades, and it’s the most accurate satellite-based navigation in the world right now.
Can GPS Smartwatches Work Without Internet?
GPS system doesn’t require an internet connection to work, but your app will need a functional internet connection to download the map.
So, if your Internet disconnects, the GPS on your Smartwatch will keep working, but you might not be able to see the map, which will make it difficult for you to navigate.
However, you can easily fix this issue by downloading an offline map app on your Smartwatch. If your Smartwatch has an offline map app, you can easily navigate from one position to another using GPS even if your Internet is disconnected.
Here is an article on my website that you must read, its about Which Smartwatch Has Fall Detection?
How To Use Your Smartwatch For Navigation?
Now let’s get to our main topic, and let me explain how you can use your Smartwatch for Navigation. Before you proceed, please make sure that your watch has GPS.
Most modern smartwatches these days come with GPS, but some low-end smartwatches and bands don’t have GPS. So, if your Smartwatch doesn’t have GPS, you won’t be able to use your Smartwatch for navigation.
However, if your Smartwatch has GPS, you can proceed and open Navigation & Map app on your Smartwatch. The majority of modern smartwatches these days, such as the Apple Watch and Samsung Galaxy Watch, come with pre-installed navigation apps which you can use for navigation.
If the navigation app is not installed, you can pick from our list, install it and then start using it for navigation.
Once you find the navigation app, open it. Now enter the location where you want to go and start the process. Once navigation starts, your watch will start showing you the directions to your destination.
Which Smartwatches Can Show Maps?
Now when it comes to navigation on smartwatches, most of them can do it efficiently, but many of them don’t show the map on display; instead, they provide turn-by-turn navigation.
1. Apple Watch
Apple Watch is one of the few smartwatches that can show Maps on the screen. The best thing about Apple Watch is that it has tons of 3rd party navigation apps along with Apple Maps, which makes it easier for users to pick navigation apps according to their requirements.
Apple Maps doesn’t show maps on-screen during navigation; there is a number of apps that show maps on navigation. 2GIS is one of the best 3D-Maps apps on the Apple Watch, which covers over 180 cities and provides accurate navigation along with routes of public transport.
Garmin smartwatches also come with real-time navigation, and they provide complete maps on the screen.
All modern Garmin smartwatches such as Garmin Fenix 6, Garmin forerunner 945, Garmin forerunner 245, Garmin 645, and others come with real-time navigation.
Which Samsung Smartwatches Can Show Maps?
Samsung Smartwatches comes with real-time navigation, but like Apple watch, they also don’t show maps on the screen during navigation.
Also, I was unable to find any 3rd party navigation App on Google Play Store that shows the maps on the screen during navigation.
What Is The Best Navigation Apps For Apple Watch?
Apple Watch is arguably the best Smartwatch for iPhone Users, and the watch has tons of dedicated navigation Apps which you can use for navigation along with Apple Maps. In this section, I’ll share the top-rated and best Navigation Apps for Apple Watch in 2023.
1. Apple Maps
Apple Maps is arguably the best navigation app for Apple Watch. The best thing about Apple Maps is that it’s designed for Apple products, and it works flawlessly with the Apple Watch.
You can easily start the navigation to your desired destination by asking Siri or manually entering it from your Apple Watch.
In Apple Maps, you get every feature that you can expect from a good navigation App. For starters, it comes with turn-by-turn navigation which will make it easier for you to reach your destination.
On top of that, it also provides real-time traffic conditions and other hazards which will allow you to change your route before you end up in a traffic jam. Overall, if you want a navigation app that works flawlessly with Apple Watch, Apple Maps is my top recommendation.
2. Google Maps
Google Maps is the second-best choice when it comes to navigation apps on Apple Watch. This navigation app is designed and operated by Google, and it’s regarded as one of the best navigation apps in the world.
Like Apple Maps, Google Map also comes with tons of features such as turn-by-turn navigation, real-time traffic monitoring, locations of nearby ATMs, Petrol Pumps, and other commodities, and another promising feature.
So, if you are not a fan of Apple Maps and want another accurate navigation app, Google Maps is a great option for you.
Citymapper is another promising navigation app that you can use to get real-time navigation on your Apple Watch.
The best thing about Citymapper is that it works well across all major countries, and it provides the details of nearby businesses, including restaurants, ATMs, and local transport stations.
Citymapper also supports all major cities, including NYC, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Boston, Philadelphia, Seattle, Miami, Atlanta, and Pittsburgh.
Also, it comes with an offline map which allows you to keep getting navigation to your destination even if you are Internet is disconnected. Overall, if you want a navigation app with offline map support, Citymapper is a great option for you.
If you are someone who regularly uses public transport, Transit is the best option for you. It’s a navigation app that provides accurate information related to public transport available in your city, including Uber, Lyft, trains, and busses.
The best thing about Transit is that it also tells you about whether the bus is full or not, which allows you to re-evaluate and plan your journey accordingly.
The app provides real-time transit information of over 200 cities across the US, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.
If you want complete and real-time information on Transit in your city, Transit is the ideal app for you.
What Is The Best Navigation Apps For Samsung Galaxy Watch?
Samsung Galaxy Watch lineup comes with some of the best smartwatches, including Galaxy Watch 4, Galaxy Watch 4 Classic, Galaxy Watch 3, and Galaxy Watch Active 2.
The company has recently transitioned from Tizen OS to WearOS 3, and the modern Galaxy Watch 4 lineup comes with WearOS 3.
At the same time, the older versions, such as Galaxy Watch 3 and earlier versions, come with Tizen OS. In this section, I’ll share the best navigation Apps for both Tizen OS and WearOS 3.
Tizen OS is a great operating system, but it doesn’t have any good navigation app available. However, there’s one workaround solution available that basically displays the google navigation on your Galaxy Watch with Tizen OS.
You can easily install Navigation Pro from Galaxy Store on your Galaxy Watch and connect it with your smartphone.
Once your phone is connected to your watch, you can set the destination on your smartphone and get the turn-by-turn navigation on your Galaxy Watch. Navigation Pro is a premium app, and you can get it for $2.99.
2. Google Maps
Google Maps is available exclusively for Wear OS 3 smartwatches which include Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 4 Classic. The Wear OS 3 version of Google Maps is designed from the ground up, and it comes with all the goodness of Google Maps.
Like any other navigation app, you can use Google Maps on your Galaxy Watch to get real-time turn-by-turn updates.
The app also provides traffic and other hazard updates, which will help you save a lot of your time. Overall, if you are looking for an accurate and free navigation app for your Wear OS 3 watches, Google Maps is an ideal option for you.
Frequently Asked Questions [ FAQs ]
For your further inquiry, you may check out this section of the article. Here, we will answer the most common questions regarding ”How To Use Your Smartwatch For Navigation?”
How Do I Use My Navigation On My Smartwatch?
The process of initiating navigation varies from Smartwatch to Smartwatch. For example, if you use Apple Watch, you can ask Siri to provide navigation to your destination, and it will start the navigation. However, if you use Galaxy Watch 4, you will need to go to Google Maps, enter the location you want to go and then start the navigation.
Do Smartwatches Have Navigation?
Not all smartwatches have navigation, but most of the high-end and mid-range smartwatches, such as the Apple Watch and Galaxy Watch 4, come with navigation.
What’s The Best App For Navigation On Smartwatches?
If you use Apple Watch, you have many options, but Apple Maps and Google Maps are two of the best options. However, if you are Wear OS 3 user, you can only use Google Maps, which is one of the best apps for navigation.
How Do I Put GPS On My Smartwatch?
There’s no way to manually install GPS on your Smartwatch, and it comes pre-installed on smartwatches. So, the only way to get GPS is if you replace your Smartwatch and get one with a GPS.
How Do I Add Apps To My Smartwatch?
Most smartwatches these days come with their respective App Stores, which you can use to install Apps. These are the app stores of popular Smartwatches.
- Apple Watch – App Store
- Galaxy Watch 4 – Google Play Store
- Galaxy Watch 3 and earlier versions – Galaxy Store
- Garmin Watches – Garmin Connect
Can I Use Google Maps On Garmin Watch?
Garmin Watches use Garmin Connect that displays Maps from various sources such as Google Maps, HERE, Apple Maps, and OpenStreetMap. The company allows you to change your preferred Maps from the settings of Garmin Connect.
Can I Use Google Maps On Galaxy Watch 3?
Galaxy Watch 3 comes with Tizen OS, and Google Maps App is unavailable for this platform. However, Google Maps are available for Galaxy Watch 4 that uses WearOS 3.
Does Apple Have A Navigation App?
Yes, Apple Maps is the exclusive navigation App that is designed for Apple Users. It’s available across all Apple products, including Apple Watch, iPhone, and Mac.
Apple Maps vs. Google Maps: Which Is Better?
Apple Maps and Google Maps are two of the most refined and best navigation apps available in the market. When it comes to general navigation, both apps share many similar features, but when it comes to navigation, both employ different algorithms, which means that you will get different routes to the same destination depending on various factors such as traffic and hazards.
Smartwatches in 2023 are truly smart, and they are better than ever. Most of them provide excellent navigation, and you can use them to get directions from point A to point B.
In this comprehensive guide, you learned how to use your Smartwatch for navigation. I also shared the best navigation apps for Apple Watch and Galaxy Watch.
If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments. Also, check this guide where I have shared the list of restaurants and other apps that accepts Apple Pay.
As a professional trainer and a gadget lover, I’ve spent a lot of money and time buying wearable activity trackers, smartwatches, and gadgets, and checking them out. My site is focused on helping you with your activity tracking and smart technology journey. I try to provide the most helpful updated content on this subject. Hopefully, you will love my blogs and be a regular around here.