Technology

Google isn’t being very subtle with its wearables push

After a massive Pixel Watch leak Over the past weekend, you’d think Google might be relaxing on the wearables front. nope With Google I/O just weeks away, a video teasing Google Assistant on the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 has surfaced on YouTube, and Google-owned Fitbit has officially started rolling out passive atrial fibrillation alerts on its suite of devices.

We knew Google Assistant was coming Galaxy Watch 4 (and thus Wear OS 3) for months. The only thing we don’t really know is when, but it seems like the wait is finally over. Last week there was a false positive when Verizon skipped the gun with an update log that suggested Google Assistant support was included in the latest round of Galaxy Watch 4 updates. Google said later The edge that it was not Introducing Assistant for Galaxy Watch 4 yet and that there was no update on the timing.

But now Samsung has uploaded a teaser video showing Google Assistant on the Watch 4 in a YouTube video (about Android Police.) In it, a man says “Hey Google” to bring up the YouTube Music app. It’s a short chunk of an already short 15-second ad, but it’s clearly front and center. The last time Samsung offered updates on timing was back in February, when it said the feature would be coming “in the coming months”. While that was vague, it certainly fits that timeline.

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

In the meantime, 9to5Google reports that Fitbit has begun rolling out passive irregular heart rhythm notifications on nine of its fitness trackers and smartwatches. These include Fitbit Sense, Versa 3, Versa 2, Versa Lite Edition, Charge 5, Luxe, Charge 4, Charge 3 and Inspire 2.

Google, which owns Fitbit, made the announcement seeks FDA approval for passive atrial fibrillation monitoring End of March. Then the function Release obtained earlier this month. The feature was a big step forward for Fitbit, which previously only had FDA clearance for its ECG app. This app allowed Fitbit Sense and Fitbit Charge 5 owners to randomly check their heart rhythms. This passive feature runs in the background and can now be used across a wider range of Fitbit products listed above – many of which are several years old.

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The Fitbit Sense was the company’s first tracker to introduce ECG-powered atrial fibrillation spot checks.
Photo by Brent Rose / The Verge

These are both minor updates in the big 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? This is simply further evidence that Google is laying the groundwork for a major wearables push in 2022. Now we just have to wait and see what comes next.

https://www.theverge.com/2022/4/25/23041792/google-samsung-fitbit-assistant-galaxy-watch-4 Google isn’t being very subtle with its wearables push

Fry Electronics Team

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