At I/O 2019, Google quietly teased what’s new for Android’s user-friendly interface over Bluetooth. With the launch of the Pixel Buds this morning, the latest Fast Pair features were also detailed.
Fast Pair started as providing a seamless Android pairing experience for Bluetooth headphones. Instead of having to visit settings, putting your device next to your phone will show a notification to connect. Google touts over 3 million Fast pairings between accessories and Android phones.
Given how easy it’s to lose Bluetooth headphones, users can play a loud ringing sound from their phones. On true wireless earbuds, there’s the option to ring the left and right earbuds separately. An upcoming feature will display lost headphones against a map in the Find My Device app. Location History has to be enabled on your Google Account, with this capability arriving in the coming months.
On Android 10, preferences for headphones are directly integrated into the system Settings app. For example, the Pixel Buds are tied in with settings, while other phones will see a new homescreen icon. From the Bluetooth paired list, you can access Assistant, open Find My Device, and other device-specific settings.
Flipping open the case to your headphones will pop-up a notification that notes the battery level for each bud and the case, with accompanying icons. Another will automatically alert users when power is running low.
The second-generation Pixel Buds and Harmon Kardon FLY are the first to support all these new Android Fast Pair features. Other models are coming soon.
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