Galaxy Watch 4 doesn’t have YouTube Music or Google Assistant yet

Galaxy Watch 4 doesn’t have YouTube Music or Google Assistant yet

Samsung finally revealed the Galaxy Watch 4 series earlier today, which is a substantial departure from the company’s previous watches. The Tizen software platform is gone, replaced by a heavily-modified version of Google’s Wear OS. Even though the Galaxy Watch 4 is undeniably a Wear OS watch, with the Google Play Store, Maps, and other core applications, it’s still missing some of the functionality you might expect.

Perhaps the most bizarre omission right now is Google Assistant. The default voice assistant is Bixby, same as earlier Galaxy Watches, which is activated by holding down on the top side button. Google Assistant is not installed, and it doesn’t appear to be downloadable from the watch’s Play Store. There’s a settings panel for choosing the default digital assistant, just like Android on smartphones, but Bixby is the only available option.

The brand new YouTube Music app that was announced alongside Wear OS 3 earlier this year is also not installed on the watch, and it doesn’t appear to be downloadable yet. Presumably, once that becomes available, it will appear in the watch’s Google Play Store. Google and Samsung also previously talked about the updated Spotify app, which has started to roll out.

We reached out to Samsung about the lack of Google Assistant and other Google applications, and a representative provided the following statement:

We’re working closely with Google to bring those popular Google services to Galaxy Watch4 series. We will share more details once they’re ready.

It’s definitely strange that one of the main features of Wear OS since the first version is missing on the new Wear OS flagship, but at least it should come eventually. Given the open nature of Wear OS, it wouldn’t surprise me if someone figures out how to hack Google Assistant onto the watch within the next few weeks.

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Corbin Davenport
Corbin Davenport

Corbin is a tech journalist and software developer based in Raleigh, North Carolina. He's also the host of the Tech Tales podcast, which explores the history of the technology industry. Follow him on Twitter at @corbindavenport.