I/O doesn’t actually kick off until next Tuesday, but Google’s been steadily trickling out news this week. Perhaps it’s priming the pump for next week’s big event, or maybe the company just had more news than it could cram into a couple of keynotes. Whatever the case, today brought some new additions to the wearable operating system formerly known as Android Wear.
It’s hard to say how much energy Google is going to put into Wear OS in the coming week, but in the meantime, it’s getting some solid Assistant updates. The pairing of the two offerings is a no brainer, of course. Siri’s proven an important driver for Apple Watch, and a workaround for the whole small screen issue.
Google added its own Assistant to Android Wear last year, and is continuing to refine the experience with some key updates. At the top of the list is smart suggestions, which offers followup questions based on context. Ask Google what the weather is, and it will offer up followups for additional days’ forecasts.
Assistant’s wrist worn counterpart can also offer up voice answers through a pair of connected headhones. The update, which is rolling out over the next week or so will also bring Actions to the wearable OS, meaning much more more third-party control. Now users can, say, preheat an LG smart oven from the comfort of their own wrist.
There’s nothing really earth shattering here, but it’s nice to see Google continuing to give Wear OS a little love ahead of I/O. The operating system has failed to make much headway as the wearable category has seemingly plateaued for everyone who isn’t Apple at this point. Hopefully the company will have even more to show off on that front next week.