Fossil Gen 5Source: Joe Maring / Android Central

What you need to know

  • Users have reported that the Google Assistant hotword for Wear OS has been fixed.
  • The feature has reportedly been broken since at least October.
  • Wear OS users can access Google with their voice or by holding the crown.

Wear OS has its share of problems, but a problem with popular feature on the best Wear OS watches has taken Google months to address. As far back as October, users have reported that their Wear OS smartwatches, such as the Fossil Gen 5 LTE, have been unable to access Google Assistant using the hands-free "OK Google" wake word. Fortunately, the problem seems to now be fixed after about five months of complaints.

Until now, owners of Wear OS watches have had to rely on manually activating Google Assistant, either by swiping from the home screen or holding down the crown. Recently, a user on Reddit has posted a video of his OPPO Watch activating the assistant after giving the wake-up phrase. It appeared to work as expected, and others have chimed in to express their excitement (or frustration) that the feature is finally working after months.

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Unfortunately, it speaks to Google's track record at addressing software problems with its popular products, particularly where Wear OS is involved. The platform hasn't had the best reputation and has often appeared to lie outside of Google's radar, at least until last year when Google pushed out a new update for Wear OS that tried to address some common complaints such as battery efficiency.

If you're still unable to get the Google Assistant wake-word to function, make sure you're on the latest software version by following our guide on how to check for updates on your Wear OS watch and make sure the Google app is updated in the Play Store.

You can activate the wake word on Wear OS by swiping over to the Google Assistant and navigating to the settings menu at the bottom. There you should find the option to activate the wake word for hands-free access.