Apple Watch comes with Apple Maps, which allows you to find your current location, pan and zoom around on the area, search the map, get information about a location, call a location, get directions, and more. One of the benefits of having Maps on the watch is that it allows you to get directions without needing to pull out your iPhone, especially if you happen to be lost or in a sketchy neighborhood. In this how-to article, we will discuss how to use Apple Maps on the Apple Watch.

There are several different ways to open up Maps on the Apple Watch. You can open the app by tapping on the icon on the home screen after clicking the Digital Crown from the watch face, use Siri to open Maps by pressing and holding on the Digital Crown, hands free by saying “Hey Siri open Maps,” tapping on an address that was in an email or text message, or via the Map glance which is accessible by default when you swipe up on the clock face.

When you first open up Maps, by default it shows you your current location on the Map, denoted by the blue dot. From here, you are able to pan around on the map by using your finger (like you do on your iPhone), and to zoom in on the map you turn the Digital Crown or by double tapping on the screen with one finger. To get back to your location on the map, press the blue square with the white arrow in the lower left hand corner. If you wanted to drop a pin on a location, lightly tap on the display for two seconds.

If you want to get directions on your watch, you would Force Touch the display. To Force Touch, you press firmly on the screen for about a second until you feel the haptic feedback. When you do this you get two different options: to either search for a place or get directions from a contact.

Apple Watch Maps Force Touch options

When you choose Contacts, it lists all of your contacts in your address book. There are some limitations with this. The first one is that there is no search option to search your contacts, so if you are trying to find someone towards the end of the alphabet you have to scroll all the way down towards the bottom either with your finger or using the Digital Crown. The second limitation is that there is no option to see any Groups you have in your contact list.

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When you choose Search, you have the option to dictate where you want to go, or choose a place based on where you recently got directions. Depending on what you search for, Maps will provide you with reviews, contact information, and hours. It will also tell you how long it will take you to drive or walk to the destination.

To go to the destination, press on Start. You will then start to get directions. 12 quick taps in a row means you are going to take a right turn, and for left turns there will be a total of 6 taps in groups of two. When you glance at your watch, it will also display the directions and estimated arrival time in the upper left hand corner. When getting directions from the watch, Maps will not dictate the directions. If you started getting directions from the watch, and open up it on the iPhone, Siri will dictate directions.

There are other methods to get locations from the Apple Watch or from the iPhone including using Siri on the Apple Watch to ask to find restaurant or destination. Siri will then display a list of results.

You can also use your iPhone for directions, which will then send the information to the Apple Watch when it’s paired. Type in where you want to go up at the top in the search field, and then press Start down at the bottom in blue. Since you are getting the directions from the phone, the phone will dictate the directions and your watch will vibrate for turns and display the directions.

iOS 8 Maps

If you no longer need directions, you can end it by Force Touching the watch display.

End directions from watch

So there you have it. That’s how you find your location on the map, pan and zoom around on the area, search the map, get information about a location, call a location, and get directions using Apple Watch.


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