The Wear OS version of the Google Assistant can now talk and perform a wide variety of other new actions, the Mountain View, California-based tech giant said Thursday. The digital helper’s ability to give verbal answers to one’s queries works over both integrated smartwatch speakers and paired Bluetooth headphones, with the functionality being set to soon start rolling out to all owners of Google Assistant-enabled wearables, which is effectively every device running Android Wear 2.0, the operating system that’s itself currently in the process of being rebranded into Wear OS by Google via an over-the-air update.
The wearable build of the Google Assistant will soon also become capable of providing smart suggestions after responding to one’s initial queries so as to keep the conversation going and deliver a more comprehensive experience, the company said. Those follow-ups are meant to be delivered in the form of on-screen prompts related to your inquiry so that doing something like asking about the weather will give you a current forecast but also provide you with a shortcut to see what kind of weather you can expect over the coming week.
Google Assistant-powered “Actions” that the company defined this January are now also making their way to Wear OS devices in their entirety, with Google’s answer to Alexa’s Skills now being adapted to work on any compatible smartwatch. Some four months back, Google said its digital helper can perform over a million actions and while it’s always working on adding new capabilities to its AI portfolio, it hasn’t provided an updated figure ever since. That may change next week when the annual Google I/O developer conference is taking place, with AI being expected to feature prominently throughout the four-day event which is starting on Tuesday, May 8. As part of yesterday’s G7 ThinQ announcement, LG confirmed that new Google Assistant capabilities will be announced at the event, having added that its latest Android flagship will be among the devices that support them. The newly announced Wear OS features of the Google Assistant will be deployed globally “over the next several days,” Alphabet’s subsidiary said.