Google Assistant for Wear OS 3 is available for download in the Google Play Store and can be launched from the Galaxy Watch 4 and Watch 4 Classic’s app menu. However, you can also use voice commands to open Google Assistant or reprogram the watches’ home button as a shortcut.
This update has been a long time coming. When Google and Samsung first announced Wear OS 3, the companies promised that the unified platform would give Samsung smart watch users more choice in apps. Previously, Samsung’s Tizen-based smartwatches could only offer Bixby as a digital assistant. The idea was that Wear OS 3 would let consumers choose between Bixby and Google Assistant. The same would be true for apps like Google Pay.
Google Assistant has been notably absent from the Galaxy Watch 4 since its launch last year. Despite user frustrations, Google and Samsung continued to be vague about when Assistant would arrive, saying little more than “coming soon.”
However, it was clear the wait was coming to an end in the lead-up to this year’s Google I/O. First, Verizon accidentally implied Assistant was already available in an update log at the end of April. (It was not.) Then, a few days later, Samsung uploaded a teaser video to YouTube showing Assistant on the Galaxy Watch 4. Then, right after the Google I/O keynote earlier this month, Samsung confirmed that Assistant was arriving “this summer.”
The only “surprising” thing about today’s announcement is how soon it’s arrived after I/O. (After all, it’s been less than two weeks since I/O, and it’s not even officially summer yet.) Then again, it makes a lot of sense that it’s shipping sooner rather than later. At I/O, Google emphasized it would include more Google services on the forthcoming Pixel Watch when it launches this fall — and it’s hard to imagine a Pixel Watch without Assistant.