by Jim Lynch

Apple Watch: How to understand haptic feedback in Maps

Dec 02, 2015

The Apple Watch's haptic feedback makes it easy and fun to use Maps while driving or walking to your destination

The taptic engine on the Apple Watch provides haptic feedback for a variety of things, including Maps. Yes, you can use the Apple Watch to get around without even having to look at Maps on the watch or on your Phone. And I’ll show you how in this tip.

How to understand the Apple Watch’s haptic feedback in Maps

Here’s how to interpret the haptic feedback you get from the Apple Watch while using the Maps app:

1. Turn Left – The Apple Watch will tell you when you need to turn left by playing two taps three times in a row.

2. Turn Right – The Apple Watch will signal that it’s time to turn right by playing twelve steady taps on your wrist.

3. You’ve Arrived – The Apple Watch will also inform you that you’ve arrived at your destination by using a long vibration.

Each of these signals makes it incredibly convenient and easy to know when to turn and when you’ve arrived at a destination while wearing your Apple Watch.

The Apple Watch has replaced my iPhone for Maps

apple watch maps

When I initially started wearing my Apple Watch while driving, I didn’t understand the turn signals at all. So I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do when I felt them. But once I figured out what they meant, I absolutely fell in love with using the Maps app. So much so that I have pretty much stopped glancing at Maps on my iPhone, despite the fact that I can easily see it on the dashboard of my truck.

It might seem very strange to you at first to navigate via the Apple Watch’s haptic feedback. But give yourself some time to get used to it and you’ll wonder how you lived without it since it’s so convenient. And the haptic feedback from the Apple Watch eliminates the potential distraction of checking Maps on your iPhone’s screen to see upcoming turns.

But it’s not just driving where the combination of the taptic engine of the Apple Watch and Maps is so useful. If you are walking around town instead of driving, you can get to your destination without ever having to take your phone out to check where you are at that moment. Everything happens right on your wrist.

The Apple Watch has gotten a lot of media coverage for its fitness functions, text messaging, phone calls, etc. But don’t underestimate just how useful it is when combined with the Maps app. I think wrist-based navigation is one of the best things about the Apple Watch, whether you are driving or walking to your destination.

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