A member of the XDA-Developers forums recently launched a smartwatch application bringing Amazon Alexa to a handful of Samsung wearables, specifically those running Tizen OS version 4 or newer. This includes the Samsung Gear Sport, Gear S3 Classic and S3 Frontier, as well as the Galaxy Watch released last year.
The app called Voice in a Can was originally launched for the Apple Watch last year but now for the first time, it has been ported outside of Apple’s ecosystem. It’s a standalone application requiring only an Amazon account with which users need to synchronize their smartwatch, and users will then be prompted to give the app access to the smartwatch’s microphone. The process is straightforward as can be seen in the 1-minute video embedded below.
Samsung’s smartwatches do feature a voice assistant of their own, namely the OEM’s proprietary Bixby platform, but this is an alternative to that and arguably, many users would rather prefer using Amazon Alexa over Samsung’s solution. Voice in a Can works independently, it doesn’t require a phone or an Amazon Echo device and doesn’t seem to replace Bixby. Users can simply set the Home Key double-tap action to summon Amazon Alexa for queries.
The application has been launched through Samsung’s official Galaxy Apps store and users can either head down to the XDA-Developers forum thread for more information, instructions, and feedback, or they should be able to find the app by simply searching for it in the Galaxy Apps store. Voice in a Can costs $1.99 so it’s not free but this should also mean that it’s free of any in-app advertisement.
At the moment it’s unclear whether the app will be compatible with the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Watch Active but given that the smartwatch is expected to run Tizen OS 4.x, it should technically be capable of running Voice in a Can. Some tweaks might be required considering that the upcoming smartwatch model will feature a redesigned input method lacking the rotating bezel, but that remains to be seen.
The developer did mention that he would like to give users the option of placing Voice in a Can on their watchfaces but this feature would require smartphones running Tizen 5, of which there are none at the time of this writing. The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active is expected to support Bixby Reminders but as usual, it will likely lack access to any other virtual assistants including Amazon Alexa or the Google Assistant.
Last year’s Samsung Galaxy Watch was released running Tizen 4 out of the box, but the same cannot be said for earlier models including the Gear S3 Classic, Gear S3 Frontier, and the Gear Sport. The good news is that Samsung updated these earlier models to Tizen 184.108.40.206 back in January, introducing a wide range of features including Samsung Health, the ability to save draft messages, a redesigned Quick Panel and more.
Having said that, readers who own either one of these models and would like to give Voice in a Can a try should make sure that they have first updated their firmware to the latest Tizen OS version.