In August 2021, followers of smartwatches acquired what many people had at all times hoped for: a Samsung wearable with Google’s software program. The watch aimed to usher on this new period of Android wearables was the Galaxy Watch 4 collection, operating a Samsung and Google co-developed Put on OS 3. It had the core bits of the prior technology of Put on OS software program, aside from one obvious omission: Google Assistant.
This is not a brand new revelation, however within the final couple of weeks, it has gotten me fascinated about the peculiar state of affairs of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, Google Assistant, and the rumored Google Pixel Watch. Since Samsung launched its smartwatch final fall, shoppers have been instructed that Google Assistant was on the best way — a number of instances. Nevertheless it’s practically been eight months because the watch’s launch date, and it is nonetheless not right here. I do not assume it is a coincidence.
Getting our hopes up
I purchased the Galaxy Watch 4 — twice — and although Google Assistant wasn’t a major contributing think about both of the purchases, it does rear its annoying head each time I wish to apply it to my watch. I used to be so excited when it appeared that the characteristic could be rolling out to the wearable any day now, solely to search out out that it was a mistake.
Then got here the large Pixel Watch leaks that occurred over the past week. Whereas it was all occurring, it hit me that maybe the exclusivity of Put on OS 3 on Samsung’s smartwatches, the shortage of Google Assistant on them, and the hopeful announcement of a Google wearable are in cahoots.
Okay, what I am about to say is completely speculative and primarily based by myself loopy ideas — however hear me out. What if the settlement gave Samsung the only real rights to Put on OS 3, but it surely did not get Google Assistant. It’s because Google has been planning the Pixel Watch and needs to debut the voice assistant by itself smartwatch at Google I/O. Then following the announcement, Google Assistant would make its technique to the Galaxy Watch 4 lineup and, within the coming months, Wear OS 3 to other brands.
A believable principle
I reached out to Jitesh Ubrani, analysis supervisor for IDC’s worldwide gadget tracker, and posed my principle to him. He instructed me, “Given how prominently featured the Google Assistant is on the Pixel telephones and the way it’s used as a key differentiator, I believe it stands to purpose that Google will seemingly do one thing comparable with the Pixel Watch by making the assistant a central characteristic and it is also seemingly the rationale Samsung’s newest watches haven’t got this characteristic enabled simply but.”
Whether or not this principle is true or not, as somebody who retains making an attempt to like the Galaxy Watch 4, the shortage of Google Assistant is a thorn. Particularly contemplating that each different Put on OS watch available on the market — besides the one rocking the newest model of the software program and arguably has the extra superior inside specs — does not have it.
Just a few years in the past, having Google Assistant on a Put on OS watch was lower than a super expertise. Whereas it was potential to make use of the assistant on older watches, it required a whole lot of endurance. However with newer units using Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 4100 collection, just like the TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra, Google Assistant is much extra snappy and truly helpful to the purpose that I miss it when I haven’t got it.
I requested Ubrani if he felt that the Galaxy Watch 4’s lack of Google Assistant had held the watch again any, and he mentioned, “I do not assume the shortage of Google Assistant has held again the Galaxy Watch 4’s success. By our estimates, Samsung shipped 7.1M WearOS watches within the second half of 2021; that is noticeably larger than the 5.6M Tizen Watches it shipped through the second half of 2020. A lot of that progress was pushed by Samsung’s aggressive advertising and marketing somewhat than the truth that it was operating on Google’s newest OS. My level being that in the case of Samsung’s wearables, their success is predicated on Samsung’s laborious work, not Google’s companies.”
The numbers present that Samsung has not had hassle transport a whole lot of its Put on OS smartwatch, however in accordance with Android Central’s Editor of Dope Shit, Jerry Hildenbrand, the wearable continues to be a flop. Now, what totally constitutes and causes failure is debatable. Is it from a lack of apps? Is it as a result of there are extra Apple Watches within the wild than Galaxy Watch 4 units? Once more, on this case, why and if the watch is a failure is one thing that may be mentioned advert nauseam.
However, for a characteristic that’s so ingrained in each the best Android smartwatches and Android telephones to be absent from the “flagship watch” eight months later simply does not make sense — until it was for a great purpose. Maybe a Pixel Watch is that purpose.
When the Galaxy Watch 4 was nearing its launch, the leaks and discussions pointed instantly at Samsung. Regarding what it was going to do with the newly-built Put on OS 3, I grew to become anxious that Google was giving up an excessive amount of to Samsung — and till lately, I nonetheless felt that method. However maybe it is all been part of the plan and settlement for Samsung to get the highlight. The OEM is the face of Android smartphones, so why not give it the identical shot for watches?
The opposite a part of the Put on OS 3 story is that no different watches have a tool operating the software program at this level. A standard thread amongst the units which have Google Assistant is that all of them run a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor — the Galaxy Watch 4 doesn’t. And if rumors are true, neither will the Pixel Watch.
I requested Ubrani what he considered a special technique thought by Google to prop up a Pixel Watch. Might a gradual rollout of Put on OS 3 to different manufacturers be equally strategic and useful? Ubrani replied, “On the subject of different manufacturers, I believe having some form of exclusivity interval for Google’s newest actually performs a task however maybe having a special chipset has additionally added to the event time.”
Time will inform
All of this has been to say a number of issues. I’m uninterested in ready for Google Assistant on my Galaxy Watch 4 Basic. With all of the leaks and rumors across the Pixel Watch, I would like much more for Google to stop messing around and launch the factor. Lastly, I wish to see Put on OS 3 arrive on different smartwatches. However there’s nothing I can do about any of it, and that is simply my method of making an attempt to make sense of it in my head.