Though Fossil launched two new smartwatches at CES at this time, there’s one large elephant within the room: the improve to Put on OS 3 gained’t arrive for a number of months. To take the sting out of the wait, Fossil snuck in one other new characteristic for its Gen 6 smartwatches: Amazon Alexa. As for when Alexa will arrive, you’ll need to accept “coming soon.” Hopefully earlier than Put on OS 3.

In an announcement to 9to5Google, Fossil says the replace will come within the first half of 2022. This tracks with what Fossil instructed The Verge in a CES briefing, through which spokesperson Robyn Sills mentioned Alexa would come to the Gen 6 units “early this year.” Fossil despatched me each the Skagen Falster 6 and the Razer x Fossil Gen 6 smartwatch, and yup, there’s a widget only for Alexa. Should you faucet it, nonetheless, you gained’t carry up the voice assistant. You’ll simply see a “coming soon” message.

So, between “coming soon,” “early this year,” and “first half of this year,” it’s anybody’s guess. With options like this, it’s not unusual to see corporations hedge on timelines, lest they make like Douglas Adams and watch self-set deadlines whoosh by. Nonetheless, if all goes properly, it seems seemingly that Alexa compatibility will arrive earlier than Put on OS 3. As for when the Put on OS 3 upgrades will arrive, that’s as much as Google. For now, each Google and Fossil haven’t budged from the equally obscure mid-to-late 2022 timeline.

It may appear curious as to why Fossil would even tease Alexa if it’s not prepared but. The more than likely motive is to present everybody one thing to stay up for whereas ready for Put on OS 3, which might arrive in just a few months or a complete yr from now. In a briefing, Fossil instructed The Verge that this awkward timing did affect preliminary Gen 6 gross sales, although surprisingly, the Gen 5E gross sales appear to be going robust. Given all of the uncertainty, it is sensible that Fossil would wish to spotlight Alexa compatibility.

For what it’s value, it’s (or will probably be) a win for Fossil. Voice assistants are more and more widespread on smartwatches, however clients don’t actually have a say through which assistant comes with their wearable. Put on OS watches are at the moment tied to Google Assistant and Apple Watches are Siri-only. Samsung has inflicted Bixby onto Galaxy Watch house owners for years, and whereas Samsung mentioned you’d have the ability to go for Google Assistant on the brand new Galaxy Watch 4, it has yet to officially arrive. Some watches, like Garmin’s newly introduced Venu 2 Plus, merely join you to your telephone’s assistant. Others hook you up with a proprietary assistant, and that’s hardly ever a great time.

Proper now, Fitbit is the one one that really provides any type of alternative. Beginning with the Fitbit Sense and Versa 3, you had the choice between Alexa or Google Assistant. Nonetheless, you might solely do one or the opposite. So far as I can see on my overview items, whereas there may be an Alexa widget, that doesn’t cease you from utilizing Google Assistant as properly. Granted, there are few official particulars and Alexa on the wrist isn’t one of the best. Nonetheless, Fossil providing a alternative in assistants — and even the choice to doubtlessly use multiple — is a brilliant transfer. It’d simply be smarter if it was right here already.


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