After almost a year of keeping users waiting, Samsung is finally ready to add Google Assistant to their Galaxy Watch 4 lineup.
Last year August, when Samsung launched their Galaxy Watch 4 lineup, Google Assistant was one of the most notable omissions in the devices. That has been one of the series’ major pitfalls and has seen several users clamoring for its inclusion. However, Google and Samsung kept mum on the release timeline until recently.
In a blog post, Samsung announced that the Galaxy Watch 4 series would be getting Google Assistant support later this summer.
Samsung’s Executive Vice President and Head of Customer Experience, Patrick Chomet was quoted as saying, “This summer, I’m excited to share that Galaxy Watch 4 users will be able to download Google Assistant to their device, featuring faster and more natural voice interactions, enabling quick answers and on-the-go help,”
Samsung first raised hopes that Google Assistant would come to the Galaxy Watch 4 shortly after releasing it. However, as months passed without any other word on the matter, many people feared they would not deliver on their promise again. Google’s spokesperson, Ivy Hunt, further crushed whatever hope was left when he told The Verge in an email that “Assistant is not rolling out to Galaxy Watch 4, and we don’t have an update on timing.”
What to Expect From This New Development
With the Galaxy Watch 4’s first anniversary coming up soon, many users would consider the inclusion of Google Assistant as the best anniversary gift since it would bring more utility and improvement to the watch’s overall user experience.
One of the utilities users can expect when Google Assistant finally arrives on the Galaxy Watch 4 is the ability to control third-party apps with voice commands. Already, Samsung has confirmed that the feature will be available for Spotify. Patrick Chomet was quoted as saying that “Soon, our users can control Spotify with Google Assistant and change songs on the fly using only their voice,”
The voice assistant currently available on the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is Bixby – Samsung’s voice assistant. Although some users do not have any issue using it, others have expressed their displeasure. One of the major issues users complained about was how ludicrous it was to use two different voice-activated assistants for their smartwatch and smartphone. While Samsung’s Bixby may not be a bad voice assistant, the fact remains that it is not as popular as Google Assistant, Apple’s Siri, or even Amazon’s Alexa.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 And Google’s Wear OS
Recall that the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 was launched in August 2021 and was the first smartwatch to run on Google’s Wear OS 3. Previous versions of Samsung smartwatches were powered by Samsung’s proprietary Tizen OS which limited users to only Samsung-specific apps such as Bixby, Samsung Pay and a handful of others.
The Wear OS 3 was developed by Google and Samsung to bring significant improvements to the Wear OS ecosystem. Google-owned Fitbit also contributed to the operating system’s development by handling its health and fitness experience.
Switching over to the Wear OS was an important upgrade for the Samsung Watch 4 series because it meant users could access a wide variety of third-party apps which was a major weak point of its previous Tizen OS. Moreover, with Wear OS, Android developers could easily port code from their smartphone applications to create smartwatch apps.
Why Google Assistant is Coming to Galaxy Watch 4 Now
While moving the Galaxy Watch 4 to the Wear OS meant that Samsung could have offered Google Assistant with the device earlier than now, critics suspect the delay may have occurred because Google and Samsung were never specific on when the update would be put in place. In different instances, the two companies often used vague allusions, such as “in the coming months,” when talking about when users should expect the feature.
The announcement that Google Assistant would be available on the Galaxy Watch 4 this summer is coming a few days after Google announced it would launch its smartwatch, Pixel Watch, later this autumn.
Speculations that Google would soon launch its smartwatch have been ongoing for years. A clear indicator that Google was interested in venturing into the wearable market came in 2019 when it announced its acquisition of Fitbit for $2.1 billion. Fitbit, founded in 2007, was the leading fitness tracker in the wearable space until Apple launched its Apple Watch in 2015 and toppled it.
When Google acquired Fitbit, it said the reason was to “help spur innovation in wearables.” Following the acquisition, many people expected that Google would launch its smartwatch in the coming years by taping into Fitbit’s vast expertise in the space. Despite the rumors and speculations, Google kept mum on the matter until the Google IO 2022, when it announced the coming of the Pixel Watch.
Google’s Pixel Watch would run on an “improved” version of the Wear OS 3 and ships with Google Assistant support. The smartwatch uses Fitbit’s health tracking technology and can be paired with all devices running on Android 8 or newer versions. According to Google’s Senior Vice President of Devices and Services, Rick Osterloh, “Google’s ecosystem and Fitbit expertise” makes the Pixel Watch different from others in the market.
Google’s Pixel Watch will compete directly with Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 4, Apple Watch Series 7, and other smartwatches for a place in the wearable market. Currently, Apple Watch is the leader of the wearable market, while Samsung’s Galaxy Watch takes the number two spot.
With users clamoring for Google Assistant on the Galaxy Watch 4 and Google planning to launch its Pixel Watch with Google Assistant, Samsung must heed users’ demands swiftly. If not, there would be cases where disgruntled users will dump their Galaxy Watch 4 for Google’s Pixel Watch because they want Google Assistant.
Google Assistant coming to Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 4 is a welcomed development since it is one of the most requested updates from users. Although the announcement is vague since it does not specify what month the rollout will happen this summer, users anticipating the update can start expecting it from June to September.
Hi! I’m Jude, the chief editor at Smartwatchseries.com
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