In August 2021, followers of smartwatches obtained 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 evident 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 scenario of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, Google Assistant, and the rumored Google Pixel Watch. Since Samsung launched its smartwatch final fall, shoppers have been advised that Google Assistant was on the best way — a number of occasions. However it’s practically been eight months because the watch’s launch date, and it is nonetheless not .. I do not suppose this can be a coincidence.
Getting our hopes up
I purchased the Galaxy Watch 4 — twice — and although Google Assistant wasn’t a major contributing consider both of the purchases, it does rear its annoying head each time I need 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 seek out out that it was a mistake.
Then got here the huge Pixel Watch leaks that occurred during the last 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 totally speculative and based mostly 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 is because Google has been planning the Pixel Watch and desires 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, Put on OS 3 to different manufacturers.
A believable concept
I reached out to Jitesh Ubrani, analysis supervisor for IDC’s worldwide machine tracker, and posed my concept to him. He advised 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 probably do one thing related with the Pixel Watch by making the assistant a central characteristic and it is also probably the explanation Samsung’s newest watches do not have this characteristic enabled simply but.”
Whether or not this concept 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.
A couple of years in the past, having Google Assistant on a Put on OS watch was lower than a great expertise. Whereas it was doable to make use of the assistant on older watches, it required a whole lot of persistence. However with newer units using Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 4100 collection, just like the TicWatch Professional 3 Extremely, Google Assistant is way extra snappy and really 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 suppose 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 reasonably than the truth that it was operating on Google’s newest OS. My level being that on the subject of Samsung’s wearables, their success is predicated on Samsung’s onerous work, not Google’s providers.”
The numbers present that Samsung has not had bother transport a whole lot of its Put on OS smartwatch, however in line with Android Central’s Editor of Dope Shit, Jerry Hildenbrand, the wearable remains to be a flop. Now, what absolutely constitutes and causes failure is debatable. Is it from a scarcity of apps? Is it as a result of t. 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 perfect 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 immediately at Samsung. Regarding what it was going to do with the newly-built Put on OS 3, I grew to become apprehensive that Google was giving up an excessive amount of to Samsung — and till not too long ago, I nonetheless felt that approach. 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 distinct technique concept by Google to prop up a Pixel Watch. May a gradual rollout of Put on OS 3 to different manufacturers be equally strategic and useful? Ubrani replied, “In relation to different manufacturers, I believe having some type of exclusivity interval for Google’s newest actually performs a job however maybe having a distinct chipset has additionally added to the event time.”
Time will inform
All of this has been to say just a few issues. I’m bored with 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 cease messing round and launch the factor. Lastly, I need to see Put on OS 3 arrive on different smartwatches. However t.’s nothing I can do about any of it, and that is simply my approach of making an attempt to make sense of it in my head.