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Wearable Tech

Google Wear OS watches are getting Assistant upgrades

A few days ahead of Google's developer conference, Wear OS watches are getting some extras when it comes to voice control, making them more like the Google Home.

google-assistant-android-wear

Wrist assistance is getting better starting now.

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Google Assistant is already on over 5,000 devices, and smartwatches are some of them. While Google software features can be summoned on Wear OS watches (Wear OS was formerly known as Android Wear), it hasn't been quite the same as what you can get using a Google Home smart speaker. But it's become a lot closer now, just a few days ahead of the Google I/O developer conference.

Upgraded Assistant features should be arriving soon, Google announced today, allowing contextual responses to Google Assistant requests on the smartwatch screen, plus support for Actions, custom commands that can control connected gadgets.

New contextual responses in action.

Google

Wear OS watches will also, finally, be able to speak responses instead of just giving text replies, and will play responses back either via the watch's speakers or through paired Bluetooth headphones (not all Wear OS watches have speakers).

Google hasn't changed the design of its smartwatch platform much over the last year, but a shift in name from Android Wear to Wear OS suggests things may evolve more.