FYI: “Ok Google” Does Not Work on Android Wear 2.0 Update

Google released Android Wear 2.0 developer preview builds a few months back and there are a lot of things about Android Wear watches that will change with the update once it goes live for everyone.

We ran the developer preview builds of Android  Wear 2.0 on our Huawei Watch for a few weeks. And while it changed a lot of features and functionality of the watch, one key change was the removal “Ok Google” voice search/assistant feature.

On Android Wear 2.0 you can’t call up a Google search by saying Ok Google to the watch. Instead, you’ve to press & hold the power button to bring up Google voice search assistant.

Touchless voice control was one of the most highlighted feature of Android Wear watches, and many veteran users might not appreciate this change by Google.

However, I for one truly support this change. The power button on Wear watches pretty much served no useful purpose in the current builds of Android Wear. Also, it often happen with many people who also have an Android phone with touchless voice control (Nexus 5X, 6P, Moto X phones and many more) that when calling up the Wear watch by saying Ok Google, the phone (which is also near) responds back instead of the watch.

What do you think of this change? Let us know in the comments section below.

Happy Androiding! 

Posted by
Shivam Malani

Shivam is our resident designer and web developer who also enjoys writing. He loves to meditate, drive on the freeways and hunt for snipers during his Call Of Duty playtime. Email: [email protected]

23 Comments

  1. You say: “The power button serves pretty much no useful purpose in current builds of Android Wear”??? You’ve either gotta be trolling or didn’t bother learning many of the advanced features!
    In Android Wear 1.5 (and most earlier versions as well) the Power Button (more appropriately called the Hardware Button) did multiple functions and was INCREDIBLY handy and useful. You didn’t have to use it, but those who went past the basics found great utility with the singular button.

    In detail:
    Android Wear 1.x Hardware Button:
    1 Pressing will wake the device up if asleep. If on the watchface, 1 press will activate ambient mode (battery saving, but still see the time). If other screens, will take you back home.
    2 Presses – Activates Theater Mode (turns the screen off and stops vibrations or sounds(if you have a speaker) until the button is pressed again.
    3 Presses – Activates a brief super bright mode (useful for outdoors if you cant see the screen in sunlight and need a momentary bright boost)
    Press and hold – opens the App Launcher
    Press and hold for ~14 seconds – Reboots the device

    Compare this with Android Wear 2.0:
    Press once to toggle between watchface/app launcher
    Any other screen than Watchface or Launcher – button must be pressed to Go Back thru screens or steps (1.x required a quick screen swipe for this). The hardware button has to be pressed sometimes 5-6 times to get back to the watchface and it goes back thru every screen, no holding it to jump to the launcher as this activates voice now. Ludicrous. Slow and pointless.
    Press and hold to activate voice recognition (used to be hands free with “Ok Google”)
    Want to do any of the nifty 1.x shortcuts listed at the top, if you can’t see your screen or want to avoid disturbing a dark theater? Too bad, Google removed all the useful functions, and made it mandatory to press it to go back that used to be a fast screen swipe. Grr Argh.

    Removing these hardware button shortcuts is one of Android Wear 2.0s handful of truly bewildering design choices that sets the user and the usefulness and ease of accessing the Watch features back immeasurably. In times when you might be able to see the screen – or didnt wa t others to see it – the hardware button provided a fast and tactile way to do these things without having to even look at the watch. The power button does far, far less in Android Wear 2.0 (and is annoying as all get out having to press it every single time you want to go back whereas Android Wear 1.x has the fast and easy swipe to dismiss/go back!). Why Google, Why? As for the OK Google being recognized by your phone, this is an option that most people don’t even turn on (to recognize OK Google anywhere) and if you are using your watch, most of the time your phone is going to be in your pocket or asleep charging or something since the Watch’s main purpose is to avoid having to turn on your phone everytime you get a notification or email or something.

    2.0 is still very much in the beta stage, so there’s time for Google to fix these issues that many users have complained about (and complained they have as the changes do not at all seem logical, nor thought out very well, or even make the watches better or easier to use (usually the opposite!). In fact, Google’s initial estimate between preview versions of Android 2.0 was 6 weeks. The first follow up took 8 weeks. Its been 11 weeks since that release and Google has made no announcements on why Prev 3 is so late. With the news that the Big 3 Watch makers aren’t releasing any new models this year, Googles tardy follow up and lack of communication has made many developers and fans very, very frustrated and nervous.

    They need to build on the strengths of 1.5, not throw everything out and replace it with half thought out replacements that are more tedious or harder to access than their predecessor procedures! Here’s hoping they’ve been using the extra weeks of lateness to truly fix the glaring issues with 2.0, otherwise it may be obvious why the other manufacturers found no reason to release new models in time for 2.0.

  2. You say: “The power button serves pretty much no useful purpose in current builds of Android Wear”??? You’ve either gotta be trolling or didn’t bother learning many of the advanced features!
    In Android Wear 1.5 (and most earlier versions as well) the Power Button (more appropriately called the Hardware Button) did multiple functions and was INCREDIBLY handy and useful. You didn’t have to use it, but those who went past the basics found great utility with the singular button.

    In detail:
    Android Wear 1.x Hardware Button:
    1 Pressing will wake the device up if asleep. If on the watchface, 1 press will activate ambient mode (battery saving, but still see the time). If other screens, will take you back home.
    2 Presses – Activates Theater Mode (turns the screen off and stops vibrations or sounds(if you have a speaker) until the button is pressed again.
    3 Presses – Activates a brief super bright mode (useful for outdoors if you cant see the screen in sunlight and need a momentary bright boost)
    Press and hold – opens the App Launcher
    Press and hold for ~14 seconds – Reboots the device

    Compare this with Android Wear 2.0:
    Press once to toggle between watchface/app launcher
    Any other screen than Watchface or Launcher – button must be pressed to Go Back thru screens or steps (1.x required a quick screen swipe for this). The hardware button has to be pressed sometimes 5-6 times to get back to the watchface and it goes back thru every screen, no holding it to jump to the launcher as this activates voice now. Ludicrous. Slow and pointless.
    Press and hold to activate voice recognition (used to be hands free with “Ok Google”)
    Want to do any of the nifty 1.x shortcuts listed at the top, if you can’t see your screen or want to avoid disturbing a dark theater? Too bad, Google removed all the useful functions, and made it mandatory to press it to go back that used to be a fast screen swipe. Grr Argh.

    Removing these hardware button shortcuts is one of Android Wear 2.0s handful of truly bewildering design choices that sets the user and the usefulness and ease of accessing the Watch features back immeasurably. In times when you might be able to see the screen – or didnt wa t others to see it – the hardware button provided a fast and tactile way to do these things without having to even look at the watch. The power button does far, far less in Android Wear 2.0 (and is annoying as all get out having to press it every single time you want to go back whereas Android Wear 1.x has the fast and easy swipe to dismiss/go back!). Why Google, Why? As for the OK Google being recognized by your phone, this is an option that most people don’t even turn on (to recognize OK Google anywhere) and if you are using your watch, most of the time your phone is going to be in your pocket or asleep charging or something since the Watch’s main purpose is to avoid having to turn on your phone everytime you get a notification or email or something.

    2.0 is still very much in the beta stage, so there’s time for Google to fix these issues that many users have complained about (and complained they have as the changes do not at all seem logical, nor thought out very well, or even make the watches better or easier to use (usually the opposite!). In fact, Google’s initial estimate between preview versions of Android 2.0 was 6 weeks. The first follow up took 8 weeks. Its been 11 weeks since that release and Google has made no announcements on why Prev 3 is so late. With the news that the Big 3 Watch makers aren’t releasing any new models this year, Googles tardy follow up and lack of communication has made many developers and fans very, very frustrated and nervous.

    They need to build on the strengths of 1.5, not throw everything out and replace it with half thought out replacements that are more tedious or harder to access than their predecessor procedures! Here’s hoping they’ve been using the extra weeks of lateness to truly fix the glaring issues with 2.0, otherwise it may be obvious why the other manufacturers found no reason to release new models in time for 2.0.

  3. You say: “The power button serves pretty much no useful purpose in current builds of Android Wear”??? You’ve either gotta be trolling or didn’t bother learning many of the advanced features!
    In Android Wear 1.5 (and most earlier versions as well) the Power Button (more appropriately called the Hardware Button) did multiple functions and was INCREDIBLY handy and useful. You didn’t have to use it, but those who went past the basics found great utility with the singular button.

    In detail:
    Android Wear 1.x Hardware Button:
    1 Pressing will wake the device up if asleep. If on the watchface, 1 press will activate ambient mode (battery saving, but still see the time). If other screens, will take you back home.
    2 Presses – Activates Theater Mode (turns the screen off and stops vibrations or sounds(if you have a speaker) until the button is pressed again.
    3 Presses – Activates a brief super bright mode (useful for outdoors if you cant see the screen in sunlight and need a momentary bright boost)
    Press and hold – opens the App Launcher
    Press and hold for ~14 seconds – Reboots the device

    Compare this with Android Wear 2.0:
    Press once to toggle between watchface/app launcher
    Any other screen than Watchface or Launcher – button must be pressed to Go Back thru screens or steps (1.x required a quick screen swipe for this). The hardware button has to be pressed sometimes 5-6 times to get back to the watchface and it goes back thru every screen, no holding it to jump to the launcher as this activates voice now. Ludicrous. Slow and pointless.
    Press and hold to activate voice recognition (used to be hands free with “Ok Google”)
    Want to do any of the nifty 1.x shortcuts listed at the top, if you can’t see your screen or want to avoid disturbing a dark theater? Too bad, Google removed all the useful functions, and made it mandatory to press it to go back that used to be a fast screen swipe. Grr Argh.

    Removing these hardware button shortcuts is one of Android Wear 2.0s handful of truly bewildering design choices that sets the user and the usefulness and ease of accessing the Watch features back immeasurably. In times when you might be able to see the screen – or didnt wa t others to see it – the hardware button provided a fast and tactile way to do these things without having to even look at the watch. The power button does far, far less in Android Wear 2.0 (and is annoying as all get out having to press it every single time you want to go back whereas Android Wear 1.x has the fast and easy swipe to dismiss/go back!). Why Google, Why? As for the OK Google being recognized by your phone, this is an option that most people don’t even turn on (to recognize OK Google anywhere) and if you are using your watch, most of the time your phone is going to be in your pocket or asleep charging or something since the Watch’s main purpose is to avoid having to turn on your phone everytime you get a notification or email or something.

    2.0 is still very much in the beta stage, so there’s time for Google to fix these issues that many users have complained about (and complained they have as the changes do not at all seem logical, nor thought out very well, or even make the watches better or easier to use (usually the opposite!). In fact, Google’s initial estimate between preview versions of Android 2.0 was 6 weeks. The first follow up took 8 weeks. Its been 11 weeks since that release and Google has made no announcements on why Prev 3 is so late. With the news that the Big 3 Watch makers aren’t releasing any new models this year, Googles tardy follow up and lack of communication has made many developers and fans very, very frustrated and nervous.

    They need to build on the strengths of 1.5, not throw everything out and replace it with half thought out replacements that are more tedious or harder to access than their predecessor procedures! Here’s hoping they’ve been using the extra weeks of lateness to truly fix the glaring issues with 2.0, otherwise it may be obvious why the other manufacturers found no reason to release new models in time for 2.0.

  4. You say: “The power button serves pretty much no useful purpose in current builds of Android Wear”??? You’ve either gotta be trolling or didn’t bother learning many of the advanced features!
    In Android Wear 1.5 (and most earlier versions as well) the Power Button (more appropriately called the Hardware Button) did multiple functions and was INCREDIBLY handy and useful. You didn’t have to use it, but those who went past the basics found great utility with the singular button.

    In detail:
    Android Wear 1.x Hardware Button:
    1 Pressing will wake the device up if asleep. If on the watchface, 1 press will activate ambient mode (battery saving, but still see the time). If other screens, will take you back home.
    2 Presses – Activates Theater Mode (turns the screen off and stops vibrations or sounds(if you have a speaker) until the button is pressed again.
    3 Presses – Activates a brief super bright mode (useful for outdoors if you cant see the screen in sunlight and need a momentary bright boost)
    Press and hold – opens the App Launcher
    Press and hold for ~14 seconds – Reboots the device

    Compare this with Android Wear 2.0:
    Press once to toggle between watchface/app launcher
    Any other screen than Watchface or Launcher – button must be pressed to Go Back thru screens or steps (1.x required a quick screen swipe for this). The hardware button has to be pressed sometimes 5-6 times to get back to the watchface and it goes back thru every screen, no holding it to jump to the launcher as this activates voice now. Ludicrous. Slow and pointless.
    Press and hold to activate voice recognition (used to be hands free with “Ok Google”)
    Want to do any of the nifty 1.x shortcuts listed at the top, if you can’t see your screen or want to avoid disturbing a dark theater? Too bad, Google removed all the useful functions, and made it mandatory to press it to go back that used to be a fast screen swipe. Grr Argh.

    Removing these hardware button shortcuts is one of Android Wear 2.0s handful of truly bewildering design choices that sets the user and the usefulness and ease of accessing the Watch features back immeasurably. In times when you might be able to see the screen – or didnt wa t others to see it – the hardware button provided a fast and tactile way to do these things without having to even look at the watch. The power button does far, far less in Android Wear 2.0 (and is annoying as all get out having to press it every single time you want to go back whereas Android Wear 1.x has the fast and easy swipe to dismiss/go back!). Why Google, Why? As for the OK Google being recognized by your phone, this is an option that most people don’t even turn on (to recognize OK Google anywhere) and if you are using your watch, most of the time your phone is going to be in your pocket or asleep charging or something since the Watch’s main purpose is to avoid having to turn on your phone everytime you get a notification or email or something.

    2.0 is still very much in the beta stage, so there’s time for Google to fix these issues that many users have complained about (and complained they have as the changes do not at all seem logical, nor thought out very well, or even make the watches better or easier to use (usually the opposite!). In fact, Google’s initial estimate between preview versions of Android 2.0 was 6 weeks. The first follow up took 8 weeks. Its been 11 weeks since that release and Google has made no announcements on why Prev 3 is so late. With the news that the Big 3 Watch makers aren’t releasing any new models this year, Googles tardy follow up and lack of communication has made many developers and fans very, very frustrated and nervous.

    They need to build on the strengths of 1.5, not throw everything out and replace it with half thought out replacements that are more tedious or harder to access than their predecessor procedures! Here’s hoping they’ve been using the extra weeks of lateness to truly fix the glaring issues with 2.0, otherwise it may be obvious why the other manufacturers found no reason to release new models in time for 2.0.

  5. Irritating. I use “ok Google, set a timer for 10 minutes” alot while cooking. With hands full or dirty, pressing the crown is terrible idea.

  6. Irritating. I use “ok Google, set a timer for 10 minutes” alot while cooking. With hands full or dirty, pressing the crown is terrible idea.

  7. Irritating. I use “ok Google, set a timer for 10 minutes” alot while cooking. With hands full or dirty, pressing the crown is terrible idea.

  8. You support the change? This is the one change which is making me consider buying a completely different smart watch since updating to Wear 2.0. Being able to say “OK Google…” while driving in order to call or text someone, or to get GPS directions, was amazing (oh, and SAFE). Unless I develop a 3rd hand in the near future I would rather NOT have to take my hands off the steering wheel of a moving car in order to press a button for a few seconds to get my watch to do something which it used to do simply by speaking to it.
    I found a setting buried in the watch settings which says “Listen for OK Google.” I turned that setting on…and “OK Google” still doesn’t work!
    We’ve basically gone back in time technology-wise with this update.

  9. You support the change? This is the one change which is making me consider buying a completely different smart watch since updating to Wear 2.0. Being able to say “OK Google…” while driving in order to call or text someone, or to get GPS directions, was amazing (oh, and SAFE). Unless I develop a 3rd hand in the near future I would rather NOT have to take my hands off the steering wheel of a moving car in order to press a button for a few seconds to get my watch to do something which it used to do simply by speaking to it.
    I found a setting buried in the watch settings which says “Listen for OK Google.” I turned that setting on…and “OK Google” still doesn’t work!
    We’ve basically gone back in time technology-wise with this update.

  10. Sean David Wright

    You support the change? This is the one change which is making me consider buying a completely different smart watch since updating to Wear 2.0. Being able to say “OK Google…” while driving in order to call or text someone, or to get GPS directions, was amazing (oh, and SAFE). Unless I develop a 3rd hand in the near future I would rather NOT have to take my hands off the steering wheel of a moving car in order to press a button for a few seconds to get my watch to do something which it used to do simply by speaking to it.
    I found a setting buried in the watch settings which says “Listen for OK Google.” I turned that setting on…and “OK Google” still doesn’t work!
    We’ve basically gone back in time technology-wise with this update.

  11. I agree. I no longer use the google assistant since the upgrade which makes the smart watch, well, just a normal dumb watch. I thought my watch was broken when the voice command stopped working. I wish I could reset my watch back to the older version.

    At least my old Casio doesn’t chew up my phone’s battery life.

  12. I agree. I no longer use the google assistant since the upgrade which makes the smart watch, well, just a normal dumb watch. I thought my watch was broken when the voice command stopped working. I wish I could reset my watch back to the older version.

    At least my old Casio doesn’t chew up my phone’s battery life.

  13. I agree. I no longer use the google assistant since the upgrade which makes the smart watch, well, just a normal dumb watch. I thought my watch was broken when the voice command stopped working. I wish I could reset my watch back to the older version.

    At least my old Casio doesn’t chew up my phone’s battery life.

  14. I stopped using my watch as soon as I updated to 2.0. The main reason I used the watch was for touch less OK Google.

  15. I stopped using my watch as soon as I updated to 2.0. The main reason I used the watch was for touch less OK Google.

  16. I stopped using my watch as soon as I updated to 2.0. The main reason I used the watch was for touch less OK Google.

  17. Most irritating change in the Watch OS, I used hands free Google assist constantly to set random upcoming alarms for myself. The new multi stage steps complicate and downgrade a previous very useful system.

  18. Most irritating change in the Watch OS, I used hands free Google assist constantly to set random upcoming alarms for myself. The new multi stage steps complicate and downgrade a previous very useful system.

  19. Most irritating change in the Watch OS, I used hands free Google assist constantly to set random upcoming alarms for myself. The new multi stage steps complicate and downgrade a previous very useful system.

  20. At least I can stop tearing my hair out now. Just bought a Huawei W1 in the Black Friday sales and have spent 4 days trying to figure why after I upgraded to 2.0 the feature went. We need to remember that the Wear software is still in its early stages of adoption and refinement though and features come and go as feedback is received for whatever reason. Presumably the activation of the phone simultaneously was a reason for this removal. The more OKG devices we get, the more of a problem it will be. Try being in a room with a Google Home and two Android phones. It’s chaos. The whole listening paradigm needs refinement.

  21. i love 2.0 but hate that extra usage of the home button. it’s small & annoying

  22. i love 2.0 but hate that extra usage of the home button. it’s small & annoying

  23. At least I can stop tearing my hair out now. Just bought a Huawei W1 in the Black Friday sales and have spent 4 days trying to figure why after I upgraded to 2.0 the feature went. We need to remember that the Wear software is still in its early stages of adoption and refinement though and features come and go as feedback is received for whatever reason. Presumably the activation of the phone simultaneously was a reason for this removal. The more OKG devices we get, the more of a problem it will be. Try being in a room with a Google Home and two Android phones. It’s chaos. The whole listening paradigm needs refinement.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *