Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 app menu right profile

Credit: Eric Zeman / Android Authority
  • At launch, the Galaxy Watch 4 will ship exclusively with Samsung’s Bixby voice assistant.
  • Google Assistant appears to be possible as a later upgrade.
  • Samsung is working with Google to bring various apps onboard.

Despite being a Wear OS collaboration with Google, the Galaxy Watch 4 is shipping exclusively with Samsung’s own voice assistant, Bixby. The Android Authority review unit is limited to Bixby only. We asked Samsung about this, but it told us it had “nothing to share” on that topic.

It’s likely, however, that Google Assistant could be added in the future. While Bixby is the only preloaded option, the Watch 4’s Settings menu includes an option to switch assistants. Google Assistant could be installed via either an OS update or a Play Store download.

Related: Our complete guide to Google Assistant

Bixby ships on many Samsung devices, but has struggled to gain popularity. Rivals like Assistant and Amazon Alexa tend to be preferred since they’re more platform agnostic and have had years of extra refinement. Some Samsung phone owners deliberately remap the Bixby button using first- or third-party tools.

Samsung notes that it’s working closely with Google to bring the latter’s apps to the Watch 4. That should at least include Google Pay, which installs on the watch but doesn’t actually work yet. Google has confirmed plans for support alongside Samsung Pay but appears to have development to do before the Watch 4’s August 27 launch date.