The google Assistant is making its return to a Wear OS watch this week after being pulled with the big Wear OS 3 update last year. The Fossil Gen 6 is up first with both a system update and a companion app update that brings back the missing Assistant.
At least one of our readers was able to grab the two updates at around the same time. The patch notes for the Fossil Smartwatches app list v5.1.6 as an update that “re-introduces Google Assistant for your Wear OS 3 devices.” The system update seen alongside that is build RFHC.230409.014.
Once you have the updated companion app, you'll set Assistant by opening the app, tapping into the Preferences section, then “Default assistant,” and then choosing “Hey Google” as the voice assistant. You can see how this will look below. If your watch is running the correct software that supports it, you should be good to move over to the watch and start testing. If not, the companion app will tell you that “Your watch's software version is not supported.”
We're attempting to update our own Fossil Gen 6 at the moment and will report back any additional findings. But really, the big deal here is that another Wear OS 3 watch outside of the Pixel Watch and samsung's Galaxy Watch line, now has Google Assistant. This was always the weirdest omission or change (or whatever you want to call it) by Google with Wear OS 3 – they essentially took away Assistant and forced a new implementation by watchmakers who previously had Assistant built-in. Even the brand new Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 5 with Qualcomm's latest chip doesn't have Assistant.
- UPDATE: I can confirm from my own Fossil Gen 6 that Google Assistant is indeed back. I'm running build RFHC.230409.014 on it and was able to select “Hey Google” within the Fossil companion app (v5.1.6). Once completed, I went into settings on the Gen 6, then Google>Assistant and it walked me through a setup on my phone. Long-pressing the top right button now opens Assistant as you can see here.
For those who own a Fossil Gen 6 (and the Gen 6 Wellness), it's time to go looking for updates. You should see an update for the Fossil Smartwatches app in Google Play through that link below. To quickly grab the system update on your watch, you'll do the oldest tapping trick in the book to force a pull of it.
We'll see what we can find out about other Fossil watches or their partner brands that have sold Gen 6-level devices in the past.
Google Play Link: Fossil Smartwatches
And let's say you have been tempted to buy a Fossil Gen 6, but were waiting for Google Assistant. Now appears to be a good time to buy. All models Fossil sells are down under $200. (Fossil Gen 6, Fossil Gen 6 Wellness)