Google Assistant Is Leaving Wear OS 2 Smartwatches

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Wear OS 2 Smartwatches

The transition to Wear OS 3 marked a rather tumultuous period, characterized by a series of challenges and upheavals. Yet, the journey is far from concluded. Google’s latest move involves the gradual depreciation of support for Google Assistant on Wear OS 2 smartwatches, casting a shadow over a considerable number of devices. This sweeping change encompasses all Wear OS devices predating the debut of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, casting its net wide and impacting even relatively recent entrants to the market, such as the Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 and Fossil Gen 5. In all likelihood, this measure can be seen as Google’s attempt to streamline its offerings, as the functionality of Google Assistant on Wear OS 2 was notably deficient in terms of essential features and consistent performance.

For devoted users of Wear OS 2 who heavily rely on the capabilities of Google Assistant, this announcement brings a palpable sense of disappointment. A critical aspect of this shift lies in the fact that the majority of Wear OS 2 devices find themselves ill-equipped to accommodate the demands of Wear OS 3, as the latter demands a substantially more potent chipset to operate optimally. Furthermore, a peculiar scenario unfolds where certain Wear OS 3 watches, such as the TicWatch Pro 5, still lack the support for Google Assistant, rendering the landscape of upgrade options rather desolate. This leaves users with a trilemma: they can either opt for the Samsung Galaxy Watch, hold out for the elusive Pixel Watch, or pivot towards the Fossil Gen 6.

As community discussions on Reddit attest, the initial indications of Google Assistant’s exit from the Wear OS 2 arena emerged around the fringes of August 7th or 8th. Progressing along this timeline, a week later, the keen eyes of 9to5Google discerned an unmistakable shutdown notice within the freshly minted Google Assistant companion app. This discovery was promptly confirmed by Mishaal Rahman, who substantiated the matter through a shared image of the shutdown notice adorning his TicWatch Pro 3.

In truth, this episode isn’t the inaugural instance of Google’s inattention towards the Wear OS 2 ecosystem. Yet, the unfolding developments seemed almost inevitable, almost like a plot destined to unfurl. Even in 2021, the Wear OS landscape was marked by antiquated technology and underwhelming power, as some of the most recent smartwatches were tethered to processors that had already weathered six years. Notably, Qualcomm’s inability to usher in a modern, robust wearable chipset contributed to this stagnation. The tide began to shift when Google joined forces with Samsung, and the foundations of Wear OS 3 were laid, with the Exynos chipset at its core. This partnership heralded a significant improvement in the realm of Android smartwatches, thereby compelling Qualcomm to reassess and enhance its approach. Nonetheless, the transitional phase was marred by the inherent challenges it posed.

Inevitably, every Wear OS 2 smartwatch is slated to lose access to Google Assistant functionality. However, it’s worth noting that this transition might not be immediate for all users. It’s also pertinent to mention that Wear OS 4 officially marked its entry on August 11th with the debut of the new Galaxy Watch 6. This pivotal moment may well serve as a precursor to additional measures aimed at phasing out Wear OS 2 from the broader landscape. The evolution of wearable technology is undeniably intriguing, as it navigates the intricate balance between innovation, obsolescence, and the ever-changing demands of its user base.

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