Google Maps gets vital Wear OS upgrade, as Fall Detection begins Pixel Watch rollout

Upgrades continue to land on Wear OS smartwatches
Wareable google wear os january update pixel watch
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Google is getting busy on the software front - untethered turn-by-turn directions are landing on the Google Maps Wear OS app, while Fall Detection is finally appearing on some Pixel Watch devices. 

The former was always a curious omission, and meant that even smartwatches with a cellular plan weren't capable of achieving full-fledged navigation from Maps. 

Now, with Google's announcement, those with LTE-enabled watches can leave their phone behind (or not worry as much about it running out of battery) and simply use the app from the wrist. 

To take advantage of the new upgrade, you won't really need to do much differently; simply open the app when connected to Wi-Fi or LTE and use the keyboard or your voice to find your destination as you normally would. This time, though, it won't matter if your phone is nearby.

If you're a Pixel Watch owner, you could be in line for double the upgrades, too. 

Fall Detection begins appearing on Pixel Watch

While not totally official just yet, the Fall Detection feature promised at launch to arrive this winter has now started appearing for some users. 

From what we can deduce via Reddit and other forums, it appears to be an option for those running the latest update from December with the RWD9.220429.070 build following a reset. 

It can also be accessed through Settings > Safety & Emergency > Fall Detection, and you may also receive a notification in your connected Android's 'Watch' app. 

As with other smartwatches, the feature, when enabled, will ping a notification when it suspects you've fallen suddenly and are motionless. From there, it can also be set up to make a call automatically to your emergency contact. 

The feature isn't yet appearing on our test device, and it seems pretty hard to get it to show, based on all accounts. However, we'll provide full setup and instructions once it does, so stay tuned.


How we test

Conor Allison


Conor moved to Wareable Media Group in 2017, initially covering all the latest developments in smartwatches, fitness trackers, and VR. He made a name for himself writing about trying out translation earbuds on a first date and cycling with a wearable airbag, as well as covering the industry’s latest releases.

Following a stint as Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint, Conor returned to Wareable Media Group in 2022 as Editor-at-Large. Conor has become a wearables expert, and helps people get more from their wearable tech, via Wareable's considerable how-to-based guides. 

He has also contributed to British GQ, Wired, Metro, The Independent, and The Mirror. 

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