Google is rolling out a new way for Android users to pair their Bluetooth devices. Called Fast Pair, this makes it much easier to pair Bluetooth devices to your handset. An innovation that is extremely timely given the number of Android phones now ditching the humble headphone jack.
Despite the competition between Android and iOS, these operating systems have both borrowed heavily from each other, and will continue to do so until we’re all pushing up daisies. And for its latest trick Android is taking its cue from the way Apple AirPods are paired to iOS devices.
Taking the Hassle Out of Bluetooth Pairing
Fast Pair is, according to a post on the Android Developers Blog, “a hassle-free process to pair your Bluetooth devices on all supported Android devices running Google Play services 11.7+ with compatibility back to Marshmallow (Android 6.0).” That is if you own a device that supports Fast Pair.
Initially, only the Google Pixel Buds (which can translate foreign languages in realtime) and Libratone’s Q Adapt On-Ear (which can’t) are compatible with Fast Pair. However, Plantronics Voyager 8200 series wireless headsets are adding support soon, with more manufacturer sure to follow.
How to Use Fast Pair on Android
Assuming you’re running Android 6.0 or later and Google Play Services 11.7 or later, and own one of the few compatible devices, Fast Pair works as follows:
- Turn Bluetooth and Location on on your Android.
- Turn on the Bluetooth device and put it in pairing mode.
- Android will scan for devices, finding the name, image, and companion app for any nearby.
- Android will display a high priority notification asking you to Tap to Pair.
- A Bluetooth connection will be established, with a link to any companion app displayed.
This saves users from having to fiddle with Bluetooth settings, letting Android do all the hard work instead using a combination of Bluetooth and Bluetooth Low Energy.
Google Takes Inspiration From Apple
OK, so Google clearly took inspiration from Apple here, and had to act in order to ease the pain of removing the headphone jack from the Google Pixel 2, but still. Assuming it works as advertised, Fast Pair should make pairing Bluetooth devices with your Android much less of a hassle.
Do you regularly pair Bluetooth devices with an Android device? Have you found the process to be a chore? Or has it all worked seamlessly so far? What do you think of Fast Pair? Do you hope more manufacturers start supporting the method? Please let us know in the comments below!