Having a Googley gadget on your wrist can be a great way to stay on top of everything, but with Google’s Pixel Watch in particular, the best productivity-boosting opportunities are the ones you can’t see.
A smartwatch, after all, is a small screen. And that means it’s not particularly optimal for complex, expansive interactions around touch (unless you’re a Tinkerbell-sized creature with tiny fingers, in which case the Pixel Watch is likely greater than your whole being – so, yes, good luck with that).
Sounds like the understatement of the century, I realize. And yet, device maker after device maker continues to emphasize these sorts of painfully awkward touch interactions and app-centric experiences with the smartwatch form.
The real value of the Pixel Watch is two-fold – first, with the easy-to-view information it can keep in front of your peepers (especially with a exceptional Pixel Watch dial like this one we passed earlier this week), and second, with the invisible series of simple voice commands, it lets you deliver quickly and effortlessly on your arm.
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It’s not at all obvious, but the Pixel Watch supports some incredibly useful advanced voice commands via its ever-helpful Google Assistant. Below are some of the more useful Pixel Watch capabilities to keep in mind and ready to deploy on demand as you move around the world.
Note: You can summon Google Assistant by pressing and holding the second button on the side of the Pixel Watch, the small button directly above the main crown. Assistant is also available on some other recent Wear OS devices, and most of these same commands should work on those devices as well.
Pixel Watch Superpower #1: Instant Reminders
You probably know this one from your Android phone (right?!), but it’s even After Helpful on your favorite outward-facing appendage: Whenever you think of something you need to remember during the day, just summon the assistant on your Pixel watch and say Call me back followed by (a) everything you need to remember and (b) when you want the assistant to bring it back to your attention.
So, for example, you could say Remind me to eat falafel at 5 p.m., Remind me to buy more falafel tomorrow morningWhere Remind me to say the word falafel as much as possible every Monday at noon.
Whatever you say, your handy Pixel Watch Assistant will listen to you and then deliver the information directly to your watch, on the exact day and time you requested.
Pixel Watch superpower #2: An on-demand memory jog
Speaking of reminders, what if you set a reminder on your Pixel watch for a future time or date, but then realize you need to review that information sooner?
Fear not, because the tiny genie inside your device is ready to come to your rescue.
Raise your wrist, ring the doorbell on your Pixel Watch Assistant, and say Show my reminders. You’ll get a quick and easy list of your most recent voice reminders. It doesn’t get much easier than this.
(Google is preparing to move these Assistant-provided reminders to Google Tasks”In the coming months,” by the way, so it’s possible the mechanics around that will change a bit as part of this change.)
Pixel Watch Superpower #3: Your Personal Notebook
I don’t know about you, but I have all kinds of weird thoughts going through my male brain all the time. (They may or may not primarily involve falafel.)
Well, your Pixel Watch has a perfect way to get such inspiration on the fly of your head and in a place where you can find it later. Say it note to self followed by what you want to remember.
This pure Pixely gadget on your personal branch will store the information in a new note in your Google Keep collection (or potentially another Android note taking app, if you’ve changed from Keep to another option available in the main Assistant settings). And then you can find it anytime just by opening Keep on Android or on the web.
Pixel Watch Superpower #4: Easy Access to Notes
If you have the Keep app installed on your Pixel watch, you can always view your last saved notes right on your wrist for quick reference.
(And if you’re not sure if Keep is there yet, press the home button on the watch crown, then scroll down and see if “Keep Notes” appears in the list of available apps. isn’t, select “Play Store” from that same list, then find and install the app there.)
It’s a useful way to find important information on the go or browse a list you’ve made, even, all without having to rummage through your overalls (and/or satchel) and carry your phone around.
Show me my notes is the spoken command to remember.
Pixel Watch superpower #5: Scheduling support
When you have an important meeting and/or falafel feast to plan, skip the phone hassle and tell your Pixel Watch to make the appointment for you instead.
All you have to do is politely call the Assistant on your wrist and say Make an appointment to get started – or, if you prefer to save some steps, combine all the information into one simplified command:
Make an appointment for falafel contemplation tomorrow at 10 a.m.
Pixel Watch Superpower #6: Calendar Records
In addition to manufacturing date, your silky-smooth, wrist-based virtual assistant can make it incredibly easy to check in to your calendar without even batting an eyelid.
Hit that helper summon button on the side of your Pixel watch and try out some of these handy calendar command formats:
- When is my next appointment?
- When’s my date with Elmer?
- What is my schedule for Friday?
- When is my next falafel event?
Pixel Watch superpower #7: Fast fact storage
Another kind of reminder to remember is Google Assistant’s ability to store specific types of information and then retrieve it when you ask for it. It’s brilliant extra intelligence to help your eternally foggy brain, and it works perfectly with your smartwatch.
It can also work with virtually anything. For instance:
- Remember the office Wi-Fi password is falafel77
- Remember my rental car license plate is C843944EE
- Remember Beverly’s cat is called Petunia
- Remember I parked on the fifth level
Whatever you say with that kind of sentence structure, your Pixel Watch sidekick will happily hide for future reference. And speaking of what…
Pixel Watch Superpower #8: Fast Fact Retrieval
Once you’ve asked your Pixel Watch Assistant to remember something using the setup we just walked through, you can ask it to retrieve this same information simply by asking What did I tell you about… followed by the specific type of information you said:
- What did I tell you about the office WiFi password?
- What did I tell you about the license plate on my rental car?
- What did I tell you about Beverly’s cat?
Sometimes you can make your question even shorter:
In each case, your friendly neighborhood Pixel Watch will provide you with the information you need – and in the case of parking, it will also show you a visual map of where you were when you issued the initial command.
Not bad is not it ?!
Pixel Watch Superpower #9: An Email Secret
You may have noticed that the standard Android Gmail app is not available on Wear OS, which means you can’t open your inbox on your Pixel Watch.
That being said, you box still interact with email via incoming notifications – and in an often overlooked twist, you can also send quick emails from your watch whenever the need arises. You just have to realize it’s possible and then remember the command.
Fortunately, it’s as simple as it gets: just say E-mail followed by the name of the person you wish to contact. As long as the person is in your Google contact listyour Pixel Watch Assistant will confirm it has the correct address, then ask you what you want to say.
If you want to save yourself a step, you can also say E-mail followed by the contact’s name, then your actual message, all in one breath.
I wouldn’t recommend using it for anything other than the shortest, simplest emails, but it’s a handy option to keep in mind when the right kind of situation arises.
Pixel Watch Superpower #10: The Magic of Dating
Next time you’re trying to meet a real-world falafel-enjoying customer, colleague, or other companion and you’re struggling to get them to the right place, skip the complicated direction dictation and instead say Share my location to your Pixel Watch Assistant.
Your watch will ask you who you want to share your location with, then confirm that your location is correct. After that, it will send a brief description of where you are and a link to interactive Google Maps navigation through the Google Messages Android App (or whatever default texting service you use on your phone).
You can also save a step with this one, by saying Share my location with followed by the person’s name in a single command, if desired.
Pixel Watch Superpower #11: Instant Search
Last but certainly not least in our list is another location-related Pixel Watch superpower to store in your basal ganglia.
So there you have it: if you ever find yourself in an unfamiliar place, that Googley Goblin on your wrist has you covered.
Simply press and hold the side button on the Pixel watch, then say Where am I? You’ll get a voice description of your current location along with a handy map.
Sometimes it’s the simplest things that matter the most.
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