As a result of Google Wallet replacing Google Pay on Wear OS, certain watches lost the capability to initiate tap-to-pay by pressing a designated button twice. Fortunately, Google has apparently resolved this issue and has reinstated the shortcut.
Previously, you could instantly launch Google Pay on TicWatch and Fossil Gen 5 devices by double-clicking the side button. That functionality was removed in the July update to Google Wallet; thus, pushing the button no longer had any effect. Because that button was pre-configured at the system level, users could not change it themselves. As a workaround, users could use a different button to start Google Wallet, but this would take away from the functionality of an existing Wear OS shortcut. Alternatively, a watch complication could be used to accomplish the same thing.
However, users have discovered that double-clicking the side button now starts Google Wallet as intended. This came about as a result of a new update to the Wear OS app that runs on the watch itself, which is made available through Google Play. According to 9to5Google, owners of Fossil Gen 5 and TicWatch devices running version 184.108.40.2061251175 have been the ones to report the fix. It also turns out that a full operating system update was not necessary to fix the issue.
This is great news as we are so close to the Pixel Watch launch, and I imagine being able to launch Google Wallet with the side button/crown will be one of its features — just as it will be for Fitbit watches. That noted, it is also unfortunate that it took Google so long to push this update after killing the functionality, albeit accidentally. Let’s hope that since Wallet is getting some additional features, like the ability to store your government ID, it becomes a good selling point for the Pixel Watch and any future Google-branded smartwatches or smartphones.