Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 to support multiple virtual assistants – report

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It looks like the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is going to be a bit less rigid about which virtual assistant will respond to your voice commands.

Following a tip off from the leaker SnoopyTech that the Galaxy Watch 4 will allow users to pick between the popular Google Assistant and Samsung’s less widely adopted Bixby AI, 9to5Google dug into the Wear OS APK to see if it could find anything to corroborate the report.

While past Galaxy Watches have used Samsung’s own Tizen OS, the company has collaborated with Google on a skinned version of Wear OS 3 for its upcoming wearables, so the Wear OS app is a good place to go hunting for clues. And sure enough, the site found reference to something that certainly sounds like it could give users a choice of voice assistants: “com.google.android.wearable.alternate_assistant”

While the functionality doesn’t work for now, the site did find evidence that “alternate assistants” can have a tile in the Wear OS launcher. And, functional or not, the name alone seems pretty cut and dry. At the very least you would expect Samsung to want Bixby on the Galaxy Watch 4, given its doggest insistence on pushing the assistant onto every phone since the Galaxy S8.

But it’s also possible that this could open the door to other assistants, like Amazon’s Alexa which currently features on various Fitbit and Amazfit devices, on hand to offer responses to questions directly from the wrist.

We don’t have long to wait to find out exactly what Samsung has in store with the Galaxy Watch 4. The company is set to unveil the new wearable alongside the Galaxy Z Fold 3, Galaxy Z Flip 3, Galaxy S21 FE and Galaxy Buds 2 at an upcoming Unpacked event, scheduled for Wednesday August 11.



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