Fossil's Newest Gen 6 Smartwatches Get An Alexa Upgrade

Earlier this year, Fossil promised to bring Amazon's Alexa digital assistant to its smartwatches. Well, the vow has finally been fulfilled. Fossil has announced that the Gen 6 smartwatches can now fire up Alexa and get things done with just a voice command. Alexa is now at the disposal of folks rocking a Fossil Gen 6, Skagen Falster Gen 6, Fossil x Razer, and the latest smartwatches from its Michael Kors portfolio.

However, it is unclear when the Alexa upgrade treatment will also be given to older Wear OS smartwatches offered by the Fossil Group. In order to summon Alexa on the supported Fossil hardware, users have three options. The first one is to launch the dedicated Alexa app that comes pre-installed on the Fossil Gen 6 smartwatches. In fact, Alexa support has been enabled on these smartwatches via an update to the app, which has so far only flashed a "coming soon" message.

Ecosystem makes up for skill gap

The second option to access Alexa is via the dedicated tile shortcut that can be accessed by swiping left on the home screen. Those who want an even more convenient option can set up a pusher shortcut to launch Alexa with the press of a button. It is worth noting here that the Alexa app only pairs with phones with official Google Play support, which leaves Huawei phones out of the equation here. Additionally, Amazon's assistant won't be of any use if the connected phone happens to run the stripped-down Go Edition of Android.

Of course, launching the app for the first time will ask users to grant it a few permissions such as microphone access, and an Amazon account linkage is also required. A key drawback compared to Google Assistant is that Alexa on Fossil Gen 6 smartwatches lacks the always-on listening trick. However, Fossil promises to improve the experience in the foreseeable future. On the bright side, bringing Alexa into the fold also means more seamless control over a wide range of Alexa-powered smart home devices.