Google Maps just got a massive upgrade for Wear OS smartwatches: it can now work without a smartphone, provided you have an LTE model with a cellular network.

Those of you using some of the best Wear OS smartwatches out there – the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 LTE model or the Google Pixel Watch LTE – can get navigation data from Google Maps without needing to pair your watch with a smartphone. That means the next time you want to head out on a stroll, a jog, or a bike ride you won’t need to take your phone with you to know where you’re going.

Non-LTE Wear OS smartwatches can take advantage of the Google Maps update too as long as they’re connected to Wi-Fi. But unless you’re traveling around a major city it’s unlikely you’ll have a stable enough connection to take full advantage of the feature.

Google Pixel Watch face

The Google Pixel Watch 4G model will now run Google Maps without a phone (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

To use the new Google Maps tool you’ll want to open the app on your Wear OS smartwatch, enter a destination using your voice or the keyboard, select how you want to get there (either on foot, by bike or in a car) , and then hit start and head out on your trip.

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