Samsung Galaxy watches are without a doubt the best smartwatches for Android phones. But they lack one important thing that people who use Android love: Google. There are a few ways to make your Samsung watch a little more Google-y.
There are no official Google apps for Samsung smartwatches, but that should not deter you from getting one. Many of Samsung̵7;s watch apps are just as good, if not better, than Google’s. We have six tips to help you get the most out of two worlds.
Ditch Bixby for Google Assistant
Samsung Galaxy smartwatches come with the company’s voice assistant, Bixby. This is one of the biggest pain points for Google fans. Bixby can do much of the same things that Google Assistant can, but it does not matter if you have already invested in Google’s version.
Thankfully, there are a few ways you can get Google Assistant running on a Samsung Galaxy smartwatch. The first method is via an app called GAssist. It is compatible with Samsung Galaxy watches running Tizen 4.0+. The installation process is quite long, but the end result is worth it.
RELATED: How to install Google Assistant on Samsung Galaxy Smartwatches
The second method is an app called G-Voice Assistant, and it does not require much installation. The end result is not as good, but it is really a good option if you find the GAssist installation process scary.
To get started, install the G-Voice Assistant app from the Galaxy Store (starting with the free version).
Once installed, open the app on your watch.
You will be asked to sign in to your Google Account. You need to do this to access all your Google Assistant settings, apps, services, routines and so on. You can also tap “Later” to use Google Assistant without any customization.
If you sign in, the app asks you to use the account associated with Google Assistant on your phone or tablet. press “OK”.
Then enter your Google email address in the small browser and then tap “Next”.
Enter your password and then press “Next”. If you have two-factor authentication enabled, you will be asked to confirm your login.
RELATED: To enable two-factor authentication for your Google Account with Google Authenticator
Then tap “Allow” to give the app permission to use Google Assistant with your account.
Scroll down and press “Allow” again to trust the G-Voice Assistant app.
That’s all! Tap the microphone icon to talk to Google Assistant or the menu icon to adjust the app settings.
To use Google Assistant from your watch, you must have one of the apps mentioned above. However, you do not need any additional apps to receive Google Assistant notifications on your watch.
You will still be able to receive reminders, weather alerts and other assistant alerts displayed on your phone.
Sync Samsung Health Data with Google Fit
One of the best features of a Samsung smartwatch is its workout tracking. It can track typical activities, but also has automatic training detection, heart rate measurement and sleep tracking. Some models can even do blood oxygen monitoring and VO2 Max reporting.
In addition to the hardware features, Samsung Health is just a nice fitness app. But if you come from a Wear OS smartwatch, or if you have used Google Fit, you may prefer to keep your training information there. With an app called Health Sync, you can sync all your exercise information from Samsung Health to Google Fit.
RELATED: How to sync fitness data from Samsung Health to Google Fit
Setting up Health Sync is a simple process, and it allows you to continue tracking your health and fitness data in Google’s ecosystem.
Navigate from your wrist with Google Maps
One of Google’s most popular apps is Maps, and it’s not officially available for Samsung Galaxy smartwatches. You probably would not like to see a map on a small clock screen, but the turn-by-turn navigation instructions are handy.
There are some third-party options for Google Maps that typically focus on turn-by-turn navigation. However, the best of these are not free. Our top picks are Navigator Pro ($ 2.99) and Awesome Navigator ($ 1.99). The watches are free, so you only have to pay via the Google Play Store (which is much easier).
RELATED: How to use Google Maps on a Samsung Galaxy Smartwatch
The great thing about both of these apps is that they do not require any input on the watch. You simply start navigating somewhere in Google Maps on your phone and the instructions are also displayed on your watch.
Check your Google Calendar
Thankfully, Google Calendar is one of the easiest Google services to use on a Samsung Galaxy smartwatch. If you’re already using Google Calendar on your Android phone, it’s syncing automatically with the calendar app on your watch – no installation required!
However, there are limitations. If your watch is paired with a non-Samsung phone, you can only see events. You will be able to see them from all your calendars with color coded labels, but that’s it. For most people, it is useful enough for a small screen. However, if you use a Samsung phone, you also have the option to add and delete events.
The good news is that messages from the Google Calendar app on your phone will also appear on your Samsung watch. You will never miss an important reminder of events, whether you have a Samsung phone.
Samsung Pay is as good as Google Pay
In some cases, there is not much reason to use a solution for a Google app, and one of these is Google Pay. Samsung Galaxy smartwatches include Samsung Pay, the company’s mobile payment platform, which is very similar to Google Pay.
Both Samsung Pay and Google Pay are mobile payment platforms. You add a credit or debit card and then use your phone or smartwatch to pay for things. NFC (Near-field communication) makes this work and is available on almost all Samsung watches. You also do not need a Samsung phone to use it.
Unlike other Google services, there is no real reason to keep your data in Google Pay. You will not lose anything by switching to Samsung Pay – it is no different than moving your physical credit card to another wallet. You can even still use Google Pay on your phone, if you prefer.
Give it that Google Look
Finally, you can even make your Samsung Galaxy smartwatch look a little more Google-y. The easiest way to find Google-themed watch faces is through an app called Facer. This dial is also available for Google’s Wear OS smartwatches, so there are plenty of options.
You can install Facer from the Galaxy Store on your watch or from the Play Store on your Android phone.
After installing the app, long press on the dial and scroll through and select “Facer”. Choose it.
Then open the Facer app on your phone and select your watch from the list.
Choose three dials to determine your personal recommendations.
When you are past the installation screen, tap “Explore” in the lower toolbar.
Tap the search icon at the top right. There are a few terms you can use to find more Google-y watches, including “Google”, “Pixel” and “Materials.”
When you find a dial you like, just tap it (you may be asked to give Facer some permissions).
Press the “Press to synchronize the face” button to send the dial to your wrist.