How to call your destination when using the Maps app on Apple Watch

It’s the little shortcuts Apple Watch can provide in life that make wearing the device oh so rewarding at times. The most prominent ones have certainly saturated Apple’s marketing and most corners of the internet by now, still many smaller tricks are hardly covered simply because they can be so darn hard to find.

The following one certainly falls into that category, as I had never heard or read about it before, and I frankly came across it by pure chance. If you have to hit the roads regularly and rely on Apple Maps and your watch to get to your destination, it’s a deft shortcut that makes sure you can keep your eyes on the road at all times – even if you need to make a phone call to the place you are currently headed!

Say you’re traveling interstate and get stuck in a traffic jam, already on the edge of your seat because your hotel does not do late check-ins. Or you’re meeting a client at a shop in town and whilst driving there realize the opening hours might be at odds with your plans. Time for a quick call to the establishment in question to suss it out? You’re in luck, nothing quicker (and safer) than that if you’re rocking your Apple wrist wear!

How to call your destination on Apple Watch with the Maps app

1) Open Maps on your iPhone (the order is important for reliability) first and locate the shop, hotel or whatever location you are set to travel to. This can be selected through the search bar or by touching an icon on your map

2) The location does require to be known to and registered with Apple Maps. In other words, when you click the place in question, check if there is a business card (including photos of the place, reviews, opening hours and so on) popping up in the lower third of your screen.

In our example I’m making a beeline to IKEA:

2) In order for the shortcut on your Apple Watch to appear, make sure the business card includes a phone number. Scroll down to confirm Apple Maps has it stored right below the location’s images.

3) If yes, we’re ready to go! Tap the blue Directions box (still on your iPhone) to start off the routing.

4) Confirm the fastest route and touch Go.

5) When tethered to iPhone, your Apple Watch will automatically transition to Maps on watch and start guiding you to your destination. At this point you can put your iPhone down and focus on the road.

6) If circumstances require for you to call your destination, now simply peek at your wrist and apply Force Touch anywhere on the GPS screen:

7) Lo and behold, that’s how swift (and safe) it is to ring someone up while driving! Hit Call Destination and your watch will take care of the rest. No iPhone fiddling necessary.

Note that if your iPhone is connected to the car you’re in or your bluetooth headsets, the watch will intelligently make use of handoff to redirect the call to the more able speakers and microphone. If that’s not the case though, it will execute and play the call right from your wrist.

The feature is super handy and feels magical when it comes off, however I have experienced inconsistencies with the shortcut on my wrist when the route is started from Apple Watch itself. Such being the case, be sure to initiate the route on your iPhone first and you’ll be able to enjoy even more of the watch’s perks next time you are en route!