Google Adds Some Much Needed Assistant Features to Wear OS
Ever since its rebranding from Android Wear to Wear OS, the operating system has seen several changes. Today, Google is announcing a number of updates to make Google Assistant more full-featured, on their wearable platform.
One of the most significant development is the addition of smart suggestions in Google Assistant. Scrolling up after asking Assistant a query will reveal a list of related suggestions such as possible follow up questions in rounded bubbles that users can select to continue the conversation. We’ve seen this before on other Assistant-enabled smartphones, and it’s about time wearables get the same feature.
With smart suggestions from the Google Assistant, you’ll be able to choose from contextually relevant follow up questions or responses to continue the conversation. For example, when you ask about the weather, you can see the weather now and then tap on a suggestion to see the extended forecast for the weekend. Perfect for quick interactions when you’re on the go!
Additionally, Assistant will now begin outputting replies, if needed, through either a paired Bluetooth headset or the built-in watch speaker. There’s nothing mentioned about headphones connected via the USB port, but we’ll know soon enough.
For example, if you’re listening to music on your way to work, try asking the Google Assistant to “tell me about my day.” You’ll hear some helpful information, like your commute times and upcoming agenda, from your watch speaker or Bluetooth headphones.
The last major change today is the availability of Assistant Actions on Wear OS. Users can now access over 1 million Assistant apps that are supported and available on smartwatches. Beyond voice replies, this includes the ability to show text on the display.
Today we’re bringing Actions to all Wear OS by Google watches, so you can use your voice to preheat your LG oven while you’re unloading your groceries, ask Bay Trains when the next train is leaving, and more.
The new functionalities are being rolled out incrementally, so you might not see them go live on your device just yet. The company says that it’ll tell us more about these experiences at Google I/O 2018. which is in a few days.