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Google Assistant on Wear OS gains smart suggestions, audio replies, & Actions support

In recent weeks, Wear OS has undergone a lot of notable developments from the rebrand to the Android P Developer Preview. Today, just ahead of I/O 2018 next week, Google is announcing a number of updates to make Google Assistant more full featured.

The biggest user-facing development is the addition of smart suggestions in Google Assistant. Scrolling up after asking Assistant a query will reveal a list of related suggestions — like follow-up questions — in rounded bubbles that users can select to continue the conversation.

When asking about the weather, these responses include: weather tonight, tomorrow, and this weekend, as well as the ability to switch to celsius. Google notes that is aimed at providing quick interactions, and similar to how Assistant works on phones with a carousel of suggestion chips at the bottom of every screen.

Meanwhile, Assistant will now begin speaking replies when relevant through either a paired Bluetooth headset or the built-in watch speaker.

For example, if you’re listening to music on your way to work, try asking the Google Assistant to “tell me about my day.” You’ll hear some helpful information, like your commute times and upcoming agenda, from your watch speaker or Bluetooth headphones.

The last big change today is the availability of Assistant Actions on Wear OS. Starting today, the over 1 million Assistant apps will be supported and available on smartwatches. Beyond voice replies, this includes the ability to display text on the display. Meanwhile, at I/O 2018, Google will be providing more information on how to build these experiences.

Today we’re bringing Actions to all Wear OS by Google watches, so you can use your voice to preheat your LG oven while you’re unloading your groceries, ask Bay Trains when the next train is leaving, and more.

According to Google, these new features are rolling out “over the next several days.”

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