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Google Assistant is disappearing from older Wear OS watches

Google is removing support for the Google Assistant from smartwatches running older versions of the Wear OS software.

Devices still operating on the Wear OS 2 version of the Android-based platform will soon have to upgrade their hardware if they wish to continue issuing commands to Google’s voice-controlled personal assistant.

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The news has been delivered to watch owners via the latest version of the Wear OS companion app for Android.

9to5Google reports the notification reads: “Google Assistant support on this watch is ending soon. Please upgrade to a newer watch that supports Google Assistant and runs Wear OS 3 or later.”

Wear OS 3 has a dedicated app for the Google Assistant courtesy of the Play Store, whereas older watches require the wider companion app to provide that functionality.

That’s a blow for users of older smartwatches who’d been quite happy to continue with their timepiece, harkening back to the days when you bought a watch for an indefinite number of years, unburdened by the prospect of obsolescence.

It means watches from Casio, Fossil, LG, Misfit, Mobvoi, Motorola, Tag Heuer, Oppo and Xiaomi will be without the Assistant. Some of those were released as recently as 2020. You can check which version of Wear OS your watch is eligible for here (via Engadget).

The notification didn’t state when the Google Assistant will be turned off on Wear OS 2 watches, but we imagine it’ll be around the time Google is set to release the next-generation Pixel Watch in October this year.

That will be the first home grown watch to launch with Wear OS 4 out of the box, after that OS launched with the latest generation Galaxy Watch 6 range last month.

Will the end of Assistant support on Wear OS 2 mean you have to buy a new watch? Let us know @trustedreviews on Twitter.

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