What you need to know
- A new Google Assistant update shows future support for a Wear OS Tile, according to 9to5Google.
- The Tile will show suggested Assistant queries and the Assistant mic button, plus an option to edit the Tile and add your own favorite shortcuts.
- There's no word yet on when this feature will become available.
- Wear OS 2 watches will soon lose access to Google Assistant, while many Wear OS 3 watches still haven't received access.
On Wear OS watches with Google Assistant, you can easily find and tap its signature icon on your app screen or use the always-listening feature to call it up via a "Hey Google" command. But Assistant may soon get another useful way to access it: a dedicated Tile with recommended commands.
A 9to5Google deep-dive of a recent Assistant update shows strings of code that leave little room for doubt that a Tile is coming — even if it's not currently available on any Android watches.
"<string name=”assistant_tile_title”>Assistant</string>" and <string name=”tile_edit_choose_a_suggested_action”>Choose a suggested action</string>
They also found and posted a screenshot of what the Tile would look like. You can see two suggested actions like "Set a 30 minute timer," but the code also shows the option to edit the Tile and "Create your own" action shortcut, which you can then tap without having to voice the command every time.
So if you frequently perform certain actions across different Tiles and apps, you could move this Tile directly next to your watch face and easily access them with a quick turn of the Galaxy Watch 6's rotating bezel or the Pixel Watch crown.
While this feature will probably come to Wear OS 4 sometime soon, it's also an unfortunate reminder that many other Wear OS watches still don't have Google Assistant, even as Samsung and Google tinker and improve Assistant on their watches.
Google is announcing that Assistant will soon no longer support smartwatches running Wear OS 2. You'll need to upgrade to a newer watch that runs Wear OS 3 (and that supports Google Assistant).I just got this notification on my TicWatch Pro 3 - anyone else also get this? pic.twitter.com/NqwddYY2oaAugust 16, 2023
We learned today that Google will no longer support Assistant on Wear OS 2, affecting TicWatch owners who still haven't received their promised Wear OS 3 update. Even then, the new TicWatch Pro 5 running Wear OS 3 still doesn't have Assistant, either. Nor do other Wear OS 3 watches from brands Montblanc.
Fossil watches did receive Google Assistant back in June, months after receiving the Wear OS 3 update. We don't know yet if Fossil watches will receive this new Tile or if they'll need to run Wear OS 4 to access it.
While the entire Google Assistant situation on Wear OS is unfortunate, the addition of an Assistant Tile seems like a natural and useful next step for the Android watches lucky enough to support it.
The new Galaxy Watch 6 gives you access to all of the latest Wear OS apps. Although it uses Bixby by default, you can easily make Google Assistant your default choice. This model has a new Exynos chip with more RAM to handle your questions and commands more efficiently than ever.
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Michael spent years freelancing on every tech topic under the sun before settling down on the real exciting stuff: virtual reality, fitness wearables, gaming, and how tech intersects with our world. He's a semi-reformed Apple-to-Android user who loves running, D&D, and Star Wars. Find him on Twitter at @Michael_L_Hicks.