Galaxy Watch 4 gets the smarter Google Assistant early, but where’s the rest?

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Maison Kitsune Edition
(Image credit: Samsung / Maison Kitsune)

Less than two weeks after the initial announcement, the Galaxy Watch 4 has gotten the new Google Assistant (opens in new tab) as part of a previously teased update.

According to Samsung, the new Google Assistant will be available to users in 10 different countries including the US, UK, Australia, and Japan. It will be in seven different languages and support regional varieties (think America English and Australian English).

What’s interesting about the new Google Assistant is that its speech recognition has been improved to recognize more casual speech. You no longer need to announce “Hey Google” or touch a device to activate Assistant. All you have to do is simply ask the Watch 4 a question and Google Assistant will answer.

Samsung’s Bixby AI will still be on the Galaxy Watch 4, which means you have your options if you still want to say the activation command. However, neither Samsung nor Google clarify if Bixby will get in the way of Assistant. Most likely not since Bixby still requires the command, plus you can change its settings to not trigger.

Google Assistant will be joining the new YouTube Music on Wear OS, which now allows people to stream music over LTE or a Wi-Fi connection. Before the recent update, you had to download a YouTube playlist first before listening.

The Galaxy Watch 4 getting the revamped Google Assitant is a welcome change to what has been a too-long ignored platform. That said, where are the other features?

Missing features

In the original Samsung post (opens in new tab), Google Assistant was originally supposed to come out this summer, until it was suddenly released. Patrick Chomet, Executive Vice President of Products and Experience, revealed in that same post that Spotify will be getting unique functionality with Assistant where you can quickly change songs using just your voice.

Chomet also teased “even more of Google apps and services…” that will be changed to fit Wear OS. No details were given on what this means, but it can be surmised that he’s talking about Google’s other Wear OS changes. The changes include Google Wallet supporting payment cards and a new Emergency SOS app to call emergency services.

The additional Google apps and services are most likely the ones launching later this year. The Watch 4 update is currently rolling out and if you’re interested in setting up the new Assistant, Google has a set of instructions on its community page (opens in new tab).

Cesar Cadenas

Cesar Cadenas has been writing about the tech industry for several years now specializing in consumer electronics, entertainment devices, Windows, and the gaming industry. But he’s also passionate about smartphones, GPUs, and cybersecurity.