Samsung Galaxy watches are arguably the best smartwatches for Android phones. However, they lack one important thing that people who use Android love: Google. There are a few ways you can make your Samsung watch a little bit more Google-y.
There are no official Google apps for Samsung smartwatches, but that shouldn̵
Ditch Bixby for Google Assistant
Samsung Galaxy smartwatches come with the company’s voice assistant, Bixby. This is one of the main pain points for Google fans. Bixby can do many of the same tasks as the Google Assistant. However, it doesn’t matter if you’ve already invested in the Google version.
Fortunately, there are a few ways you can get the Google Assistant to work on a Samsung Galaxy smartwatch. The first method is through an app called GAssist. It is compatible with Samsung Galaxy watches with Tizen 4.0+. The setup process is pretty tedious, but the end result is well worth it.
CONNECTED: How to Install Google Assistant on Samsung Galaxy Smartwatches
The second method is an app called G-Voice Assistant, which requires less setup. The end result isn’t quite as good, but it’s certainly a good option if you find the GAssist setup process daunting.
First, install the G-Voice Assistant app from the Galaxy Store (start with the free version).
Once it’s installed, open the app on your watch.
You will be asked to sign in to your Google Account. You have to do this to access all of the Google Assistant’s settings, apps, services, routines, etc. You can also tap Later to use the Google Assistant without personalization.
When you sign in, the app will ask you to use the account associated with the Google Assistant on your phone or tablet. Tap OK.
Next, enter your Google email address in the small browser and then tap “Next”.
Enter your password and then tap “Next”. If you have activated two-factor authentication, you will be asked to confirm your registration.
CONNECTED: How to enable two-factor authentication for your Google account with Google Authenticator
Then tap “Allow” to give the app permission to use the Google Assistant with your account.
Scroll down and tap “Allow” again to trust the G-Voice Assistant app.
That’s it! Tap the microphone icon to speak to the Google Assistant or the menu icon to change the app’s settings.
To use the Google Assistant from your watch, you’ll need one of the apps above. However, you don’t need any additional apps to get Google Assistant notifications on your watch.
You can still receive reminders, weather warnings, and other assistant notifications that appear on your phone.
Sync Samsung health data with Google Fit
One of the best things about a Samsung smartwatch is fitness tracking. It can track typical activities, but it also has automatic training detection, heart rate monitoring and sleep tracking. Some models can even perform blood oxygen monitoring and VO2 max reporting.
Aside from the hardware features, Samsung Health is just a nice fitness app. However, if you’re coming from a Wear OS smartwatch or using Google Fit, you might want to keep your fitness data there. An app called Health Sync allows you to sync all of your Samsung Health fitness data with Google Fit.
CONNECTED: How to sync fitness data from Samsung Health with Google Fit
Setting up Health Sync is a straightforward process that lets you keep tracking your health and fitness data in the Google ecosystem.
Navigate with Google Maps from your wrist
One of the most popular apps from Google is Maps. It is not officially available for Samsung Galaxy smartwatches. You probably don’t want to display a map on a tiny screen, but the turn-by-turn navigation instructions come in handy.
There are a few third-party options for Google Maps that usually focus on turn-by-turn navigation. However, the best of these aren’t free. Our top picks are Navigator Pro ($ 2.99) and Awesome Navigator ($ 1.99). The watch apps are free so all you have to do is pay through the Google Play Store (which is a lot easier).
CONNECTED: How to use Google Maps on a Samsung Galaxy smartwatch
The nice thing about these two apps is that they don’t require any input on the watch. You just navigate anywhere in Google Maps on your phone and the directions will show up on your watch too.
Check your Google Calendar
Thankfully, Google Calendar is one of the easiest Google services to use on a Samsung Galaxy smartwatch. If you already use Google Calendar on your Android phone, it will automatically sync with the Calendar app on your watch – no setup required!
However, there are limitations. If your watch is paired with a non-Samsung phone, you can only view events. You can see them from all of your calendars with color coded labels, but that’s it. For most people, this is useful enough for a small display. However, if you are using a Samsung phone, you can also add and delete events.
The good news is that notifications from the Google Calendar app on your phone will also show up on your Samsung watch. You will never miss an important event reminder whether or not you have a Samsung phone.
Samsung Pay is just as good as Google Pay
In some cases, there aren’t many reasons to use a workaround for a Google app. One of them is Google Pay. Samsung Galaxy smartwatches include Samsung Pay, the company’s mobile payments platform that 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 pay with your phone or smartwatch. Near Field Communication (NFC) enables this and is available in almost all Samsung watches. You also don’t need a Samsung phone to use it.
Unlike other Google services, there is no real reason to keep your data on Google Pay. You won’t lose anything when you switch to Samsung Pay – it’s nothing more than moving your physical credit card to a different wallet. You can still use Google Pay on your phone if you want.
Give it the google look
Finally, you can even make your Samsung Galaxy smartwatch look a bit more Google-y. The easiest way to find Google-themed watch faces is with an app called Facer. This watch face repository 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 the watch face, scroll through and select “Facer”. Choose it.
Then open the Facer app on your phone and select your watch from the list.
Choose three watch faces to make your personal recommendations.
After exiting the setup screen, tap “Browse” in the lower toolbar.
At the top right, tap the search icon. There are a few terms that can help you find more Google-y-watch faces, including “Google”, “Pixel”, and “Material”.
When you find a watch face you like, just tap it (you may be asked to give Facer some permissions).
Tap the “Tap to Sync Face” button to have the watch face sent to your wrist.