Pairing Bluetooth-enabled headphones with your Android device for the first time generally means moving around menus and buttons to get it done. Google's latest feature may be an attempt to make this pairing simpler and quicker. Google has introduced Fast Pair, which is now being rolled out to make the pairing process a one tap feature.
The new Fast Pair will be available for all Android devices running Marshmallow and above as well as running Google Play services 11.7 and above. Google says Fast Pair will make discovery and pairing of Bluetooth devices easier, and it can be tried on select headphones. "You can try this out with Google Pixel Buds or Libratone's Q Adapt On-Ear, and soon on Plantronics Voyager 8200 series wireless headsets," said Ritesh Nayak M and Ronald Ho, Product Managers in a blog post.
Here's how you can use the Fast Pair flow on Android: Turn on a Fast Pair-enabled device and put it in pairing mode then let Android scan for BLE broadcasts in close proximity of the user's phone and discover a Fast Pair packet (provided Bluetooth and location is turned on). Google adds that this packet is sent to its servers to get back the device's product image, product name and companion app (if there is one). Then, the user receives a high priority notification asking them to "Tap to pair" to the device. The notification contains the product name and image. On tapping the notification on the device, Fast Pair uses classic Bluetooth to establish a connection. On successful pairing, users will receive a success notification which contains a link to download the companion app. "Imagine doing all of this without ever fumbling with Bluetooth settings. Users get a seamless and secure pairing experience and confidence that they're connecting to the right product," said Google.
Google's latest Fast Pair feature can be seen as its own version of Apple's W1 chip in AirPods that enable one tap Bluetooth pairing.