Google is withdrawing support for its voice assistant on older Wear OS watches.
Google Assistant will soon no longer work on any smartwatch that is incapable of being upgraded to Wear OS 3.0 or above. That leaves many devices from the likes of Tag Heuer, Montblanc, Polar, Michael Kors, Louis Vutton, and Fossil left without access, even though some can be considered among the best smartwatches.
The details were spotted in the latest build of the Wear OS Companion App, with a code string found to contain the phrase: "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."
The Companion App, says 9to5Google, is specifically for devices that operate on Wear OS 2 and lower, so the shutdown of the service is pretty final.
Unlike their older counterparts, Wear OS 3.0 watches use a dedicated Google Assistant app – it's baked in for older devices. They are also fairly few and far between, with the software only launching last year. It means that any watch that cannot be upgraded will no longer be compatible with the voice assistant.
Is my smartwatch affected by Google Assistant shutdown?
There's currently no idea when the switch off might occur, but considering the relevant details have now appeared in the latest Companion App build, it is surely just a matter of time before it becomes active and owners start to receive the warning.
Of course, an affected watch should still run well with every other feature and function, so there's no need for alarm just yet – especially if you don't use Google Assistant on it anyway. And, you can always continue to access the service on your connected phone instead.