Google’s Wear OS neglect has left voice activation broken for months

Enlarge / A Put on OS watch.

Ron Amadeo

Poor, dying Put on OS.

Apparently, the Google Assistant on Put on OS has been damaged for months, and till now, nobody at Google has seen. About 4 months in the past, diehard Put on OS customers started a thread on the public Android difficulty tracker saying that the “OK Google” hotword now not labored on Put on OS, and a number of other claimed that the characteristic has been damaged for months. Lately, information of the 900-user-strong thread spilled over to the Android subreddit, and after 9to5Google and different information websites picked it up, Google has lastly commented on the difficulty.

The Verge quotes a Google spokesperson as saying the corporate is “conscious of the problems some customers have been encountering,” and it’ll “tackle these and enhance the general expertise.” Google did not give an ETA on how lengthy a repair would take. Google provided an identical boiler-plate response again in that November thread, with a rep saying, “We’ve shared this with our engineering groups and can proceed to offer updates as extra data turns into out there.”

Put on OS’ damaged voice system is the newest in a protracted line of indicators that Put on OS is a lifeless platform and that it has been deserted by Google. Google’s final main replace for Put on OS was in 2018, and plenty of of Google’s newer companies have opted to not assist the platform. Google Play Music had a standalone offline music app for Put on OS, which was incredible if somebody was out jogging and wished to depart their cellphone at dwelling. Play Music is dead now, and its substitute, YouTube Music, supports the Apple Watch however not Put on OS. Google Hangouts is one other dying Google app that had nice assist for Put on OS, however its substitute, Google Chat, would not assist the OS. Updates to Google Match a number of months in the past killed the Put on OS weight coaching characteristic, which was top-of-the-line elements of the platform.

Put on OS’ {hardware} has additionally been a catastrophe. Qualcomm suffocated the platform by letting it go six years with no vital SoC improve, resulting in gradual {hardware} that struggled to run the latest features. Each main {hardware} firm that when supported Put on OS—manufacturers like Samsung, LG, Motorola, Huawei, Asus, and Sony—has deserted it. Put on OS units are solely offered by trend manufacturers now.

Google’s new fling within the wearables house is with Fitbit, an organization it lately acquired for $2.1 billion. Years in the past, Fitbit was a trailblazer in easy, low-cost step counters, however immediately the corporate is an also-ran with single-digit market share. Fitbit hasn’t been capable of adapt to low-end strain from low-cost Chinese language health trackers and high-end competitors from the Apple Watch. It isn’t clear how combining Fitbit’s failing wearables firm with Google’s failing wearables division will result in any type of success, however at this level, all we will do is wait and watch.

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