The transition to Wear OS 3 was a mess, to say the least. But it’s not over. Google is now depreciating support for Google Assistant on Wear OS 2 smartwatches. Every Wear OS device that launched before the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is affected by this change, including relatively new products like the Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 and Fossil Gen 5. Presumably, Google is trying to shed some dead weight, as Google Assistant lacked some core features on Wear OS 2 and never really worked well on the platform.
For Wear OS 2 users who actually use Google Assistant, this is disappointing news. Most Wear OS 2 devices are incapable of running Wear OS 3, as the new operating system requires a somewhat powerful chipset. Not to mention, some Wear OS 3 watches (such as the TicWatch Pro 5) still don’t support Google Assistant, so your upgrade options are extremely limited. You can either buy a Galaxy Watch, a Pixel Watch, or the Fossil Gen 6.
Various Reddit threads show that Google Assistant’s exit from Wear OS 2 began on August 7th or 8th. One week later, 9to5Google discovered a shutdown notice in the new Google Assistant companion app. Mishaal Rahman confirmed the news by sharing a photo of the shutdown notice, which appeared on his TicWatch Pro 3.
Obviously, this isn’t the first time that Google has neglected the Wear OS 2 platform. But this situation was kind of inevitable. The Wear OS ecosystem was outdated and underpowered in 2021—even some of the newest smartwatches were running on six-year-old processors, as Qualcomm continually failed to introduce a good, modern, powerful wearable chipset. By partnering with Samsung and building Wear OS 3 with the Exynos chipset in mind, Google greatly improved Android smartwatches and forced Qualcomm to step up its game. The transition period just sucks, is all.
Every Wear OS 2 smartwatch will lose Google Assistant functionality, though this change may not be immediate for all users. Note that Wear OS 4 officially arrived on August 11th (for the new Galaxy Watch 6), so Google may take additional steps to phase out Wear OS 2.