Google Maps Gains Transit Navigation on Galaxy Watch and Pixel Watch

The Galaxy Watch and Pixel Watch now offer on-wrist transit directions with Google Maps. Plus, the Google Wallet smartwatch app can now access boarding passes, gym membership cards, concert tickets, and other items from your smartphone.

On-wrist transit directions can guide you through a city as you ride buses, trains, ferries, or other forms of transportation. Google Maps shows departure times and provides compass-guided directions to each of your destinations. This feature, which previously debuted in the Google Maps smartphone app, is still limited to certain cities.

Google Wallet’s “passes” feature is also transit-oriented. You can open plane tickets and other items on your smartwatch, eliminating the need to pull out your phone during boarding. Of course, this feature supports a range of tickets, passes, membership cards, and other items. If you open your gym’s app, it should give you the option to save your membership card to Google Wallet. You may also notice this option in the email receipt for an event ticket.

Note that you can add any barcode or QR code to Google Wallet with a simple screenshot. This option should appear onscreen when taking a screenshot on your phone—if not, open Google Wallet and tap “Add to Wallet” at the bottom of your screen.

The Google Maps and Wallet improvements were announced at MWC 2024 alongside an assortment of new AI developments. Additionally, Google is introducing a new “hybrid interface for bridged notifications” on Wear OS. This new interface, which is responsible for the OnePlus Watch 2’s 100-hour battery life, reduces power consumption by offloading notifications and messages to a co-processor. However, manufacturers like Google and Samsung are yet to implement the new interface on their respective devices.

These new features are currently rolling out to smartwatches on the Wear OS platform, such as the Pixel Watch and Galaxy Watch. Interestingly, Google says that Wear OS 3 is the minimum system requirement for the new features. Watches that cannot install the Wear OS 4 update, such as those from Fossil, should receive the Maps and Wallet improvements, though this hasn’t been explicitly confirmed by Google.

Source: Google

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