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Introducing Custom Action Buttons for Wear OS: A New Google Assistant Tile Upgrade

You can now have custom action buttons on your smartwatch with a new Google Assistant tile that is rolling out to Wear OS

The tile can be set up as a shortcut to do pretty much any action the Google Assistant on Wear OS can do, opening up tons of possibilities.

As spotted by tech enthusiasts, the new Google Assistant tile is available on both Wear OS 3 and Wear OS 4 and facilitates the use of the Assistant on smartwatches, such as the Pixel or Galaxy Watch. Previously, you had to either use a dedicated hardware button or add a complication in order to engage with the assistant on Wear OS watches. Now, once set up, you can just swipe left or right to access the dedicated tile.

Perhaps the best part about this new tile is the customization options it brings. On the Pixel Watch, upon adding the complication using the Watch app, you get a new tile that includes two buttons ready for your customizable Assistant actions.

How does it work?

When you first open the tile, you are prompted to set up actions by either creating your own or choosing from a list of suggestions. If you choose to create your own, you can then speak your request just as if you were asking the assistant, and a new action button gets created with it. You can have up to two of these customizable buttons.

Setting up the Assistant tile and Assistant actions on Wear OS

From that point on, in order to trigger these actions without having to speak to the watch, you can simply press these buttons and let the assistant work its magic. I find this particularly helpful for smart home actions like turning lights off or for setting quick reminders. This is also helpful if you want to keep the conversation between you and the Assistant quiet, but just remember that if you don’t want the assistant to audibly speak back to you, you must turn off the “Speech output” toggle on your watch’s Assistant settings menu.

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