Google isn’t very subtle with its wearables push

After a massive Pixel Watch leak last weekend, you’d think Google might be relaxing on the wearables front. No. Weeks away from Google I/O, a video teasing Google Assistant on the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 appeared on YouTube, and Google-owned Fitbit has officially started rolling out passive atrial fibrillation alerts to its suite of devices.

We’ve known that Google Assistant has been coming to the Galaxy Watch 4 (and therefore Wear OS 3) for months. The only thing we don’t really know is when, but it looks like the wait is coming to an end. There was a false alarm last week when Verizon jumped in with an update log suggesting Google Assistant support had been included in the latest round of Galaxy Watch 4 updates. Google has said later The edge that he was not rolling out the assistant to Galaxy Watch 4 and there was no update on schedule.

But now Samsung has uploaded a teaser video showing Google Assistant on the Watch 4 in a YouTube video (via android font.) In it, a man says “Hey Google” to launch the YouTube Music app. It’s a brief part of an already short 15-second ad, but it’s clearly front and center. The last time Samsung offered updates to the timeline was in February, when it announced the feature would be coming “in the coming months.” Although it’s vague, it certainly falls within that time frame.

With Google controlling the arrival of Assistant on Wear OS 3, in addition to Verizon’s misstep last week, Samsung’s new teaser suggests the long-awaited update could be announced at I/O. That’s also when Google is expected to officially announce the Pixel Watch, which would only be the second smartwatch to run Wear OS 3.

Meanwhile, 9to5Google reports that Fitbit has started rolling out passive irregular heartbeat notifications to nine of its fitness trackers and smartwatches. These include the Fitbit Sense, Versa 3, Versa 2, Versa Lite Edition, Charge 5, Luxe, Charge 4, Charge 3, and Inspire 2.

Google, owner of Fitbit, announced in late March that it was seeking FDA clearance for passive monitoring of atrial fibrillation. The feature was then licensed earlier this month. This feature was a major breakthrough for Fitbit, which previously only had FDA clearance for its EKG app. This app allowed Fitbit Sense and Fitbit Charge 5 owners to check their heart rate. This passive feature runs in the background and can now be used on the widest variety of Fitbit products listed above, many of which are several years old.

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

These are two smaller updates in the grand 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 growing number of Pixel Watch leaks and the fact that Google I/O is on the horizon? It’s just further proof that 2022 is when Google refreshes years of laying the groundwork for a major wearable push. All we have to do now is wait and see what comes next.

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