Google today has started rolling out a new feature called Fast Pair for Android 6.0 devices or above with Google Play Services 11.7 or higher. This new feature makes pairing some Bluetooth devices much easier. It is similar to how Apple devices pair with AirPods. This feature helps the devices scan for nearby Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Broadcasts and puts up a high-priority prompt asking you to pair with them. When you tap on the prompt, your smartphone will get paired with the device showing you a little image of the device on your display with the name of the device.
While Apple partly uses its W1 chip to connect to nearby Bluetooth devices like the AirPods, Google’s method still technically just utilises Bluetooth. Interestingly, with the introduction of Bluetooth 5.0 might help things speed along. With the introduction of this new feature, the company is trying to eliminate the tedious process of pairing Bluetooth devices, as previously users had to go into the settings, search for devices, and then pair the devices.
Currently, only two devices support this new fast pair feature: the Google Pixel Buds and Libratone’s Q Adapt On-Ear headphones. Plantronics also announced that their upcoming Voyager 8200 series of wireless headphones will also support this new feature. Google is interested to support more new devices and is asking Bluetooth device manufacturers to contact them.
This new feature is a good step towards the wireless future. With more and more smartphone manufacturers removing the 3.5mm audio jack port, this seems like a welcomed change.