Google’s not Modest with its Wearables Push 

 April 18, 2022

After a massive Pixel Watch leak this weekend, you’d think that maybe Google would soothe on the front. Instead, with Google I/O just weeks away, a video mocking Google Assistant on the Galaxy Watch 4 has popped up on YouTube.

In expansion, Google-owned Fitbit has officially begun rolling out passive atrial fibrillation signals on its suite of devices.

We’ve comprehended that Google Assistant was reaching the Galaxy Watch 4 (and therefore Wear OS 3) for months. The only item we haven’t learned is when, but the wait is coming to an end.

Unfortunately, there was a false forewarning last week when Verizon jerked the gun with an update log that proposed Google Assistant support had been included in the latest band of Galaxy Watch 4 updates. Google later told that it wasn’t rolling out Assistant to Galaxy Watch 4 yet and had no update on timing.

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Samsung has uploaded a teaser guiding Google Assistant on the Watch 4 in a YouTube video (via Android Police.) In it, a guy says “Hey Google” to haul up the YouTube Music app. It’s a concise part of an already-short 15-second ad, but it’s front and middle.

The last time Samsung suggested any updates on timing was in February when it said the feature would arrive ‘In the coming months.” While that was vague, this certainly fits within that timeline.

Given that Google’s the one in control of when Assistant arrived on Wear OS 3 and Verizon’s faux pas last week, Samsung’s new tease suggests that the long-awaited update could be announced at I/O when Google is expected to officially announce the Pixel Watch, which would be only the second smartwatch to run Wear OS 3.

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Meanwhile, Fitbit has begun rolling out passive Irregular Heart Rhythm notifications on nine fitness trackers and smartwatches. These include the Fitbit Sense, Versa 3, Versa 2, Versa Lite Edition, Charge 5, Luxe, Charge 4, Charge 3, and the Inspire 2.

Google, which owns Fitbit, announced it sought FDA clearance for passive atrial fibrillation monitoring in late March. The feature then gained permission earlier this month. The part was a significant step forward for Fitbit, which previously only had FDA clearance for its EKG app.

That app allowed Fitbit Sense and Fitbit Charge 5 owners to spot-check their heart rhythms. This passive element runs in the background and can now be used in the wider variety of Fitbit products listed above — many of which are several years old.

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These are both more minor updates in the grand scheme of Wear OS 3, which is expected to arrive on non-Samsung watches in the second half of this year—but combined with the increasing number of Pixel Watch leaks and the fact that Google I/O is on the horizon?

It is simply further proof that 2022 is when Google actualizes years of laying the groundwork for a significant wearables push. All we have to do now is pause and see what comes next.

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