Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 4 is an important piece of the Wear OS history, but it’s launching without two major Google apps. One of which would be bound to change the landscape of how people actually use the watch. At the very least it would improve the experience.
See, the Galaxy Watch 4 runs on Wear OS 3 with One UI Watch 3 as the user interface skin on top. It looks very much like Samsung’s other Galaxy smartwatches. But the software is mostly Google. So you should get to use Google Assistant with it, right?
You will get to. Just not out of the box. According to XDA, Samsung has confirmed that Google Assistant won’t be available on the Galaxy Watch 4 at launch. Which means out of the box, your initial experience will be limited to Bixby for hands-off usability.
For some that won’t be a huge deal. But for others who rely on Google Assistant’s more fleshed out functionality, it’ll surely impact the first impression.
The Galaxy Watch 4 will launch without Google Assistant and YouTube Music
While your personal preferences for a music streaming service might be Spotify, which will be on the watch at launch, others might be all-in on YouTube Music. If you fit into the latter category, you’ll be waiting a little while to have access to it on the Galaxy Watch 4. Samsung says that it’s working closely with Google to bring popular Google services to the Galaxy Watch 4. But beyond that it had nothing else to share.
That leaves users with no time frame on when to expect two of Google’s biggest services on a watch that is supposed to be running on Google’s smartwatch platform.
Having said that, Samsung isn’t leaving users without comparable options. So if you really wanted to control streaming music from the watch, Spotify is there. And Bixby, while not as robust as Google Assistant, still allows for hands-free, voice-activated features. Like responding to text messages and such.
The Play Store is available on the watch out of the box. So if you’re the type that has to have things as early as possible, you can always check as often as you can to see if the apps are made available soon.