Google has rolled out phoneless navigation support in Maps to Wear OS smartwatches.

Wear OS-powered smartwatches with this support will no longer require a paired phone for turn-by-turn navigation when using Google Maps, as long as the watches have built-in LTE connectivity or are connected to a Wi-Fi network, reports SamMobile.

To use this feature, users must first open Google Maps on their LTE-enabled Wear OS smartwatches, then navigate to Settings and select Launch Mode.

Launch Mode is a new menu that has been added to the Google Maps Wear OS app, placed between the Auto-launch and Terms of Service menus, according to the report.

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Moreover, users will see two options under the header Navigation will be launched in the Launch Mode menu, and they must select the Watch only option to begin navigation from the app on the watch.

These options will be available on both Bluetooth/Wi-Fi devices and LTE-only devices.

Users will not need to update the app or their watch because this is a server-side rollout, said the report.

It also means that users may not get the feature right away and may have to wait a few days for it to appear on their smartwatch.

Meanwhile, Google announced that it is bringing new features to smartphones that have not got operating system (OS) updates in years.

The company is releasing a tool called the ‘Extension Software Developer Kit’ (Extensive SDK), which will allow developers to use features such as Android 13’s new photo picker in applications running on some Android 11 and 12 versions.

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