Google has announced an update to its Fast Pair process that it launched last year with an aim to provide a seamless Bluetooth pairing solution on Android natively. The update enables syncing of Fast Pair compatible accessories to devices associated with the same Google Account. With the fresh development, Fast Pair will connect compatible Bluetooth accessories to your current and future Android phones. Google is also expanding its proprietary Bluetooth pairing process to Chromebooks next year.
As introduced last year, the Fast Pair process is based on a set of specifications for manufacturers to let you easily connect compatible Bluetooth accessories with your Android device with one tap. The process uses BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) for advertising and discovery, while classic Bluetooth is used for pairing devices such as headphones. It pushes a high priority notification once the compatible device is detected to establish a Bluetooth connection.
With the update, Google is upgrading the multi-device experience through Fast Pair by pairing Bluetooth accessories to devices using the same Google Account. Google says Fast Pair will connect accessories to a user’s current and future Android phones. The process notably requires at least Android 6.0 Marshmallow.
Alongside upgrading the multi-device experience, Google is expanding Fast Pair to Chromebooks in 2019. “We have been working closely with dozens of manufacturers, many of which are bringing new Fast Pair compatible devices to market over the coming months,” writes VP Engineering Seang Chau in a blog post.
Among other manufacturers, Google has brought Jaybird on board that is already selling the Tarah Wireless Sport Headphones. Companies such as Anker and Bose are also touted to bring new accessories supporting the Fast Pair process. Furthermore, Google has collaborated with Bluetooth audio companies such as Airoha Technology, BES, and Qualcomm to add native Fast Pair support to their software development kits to ultimately expand the new process. We can presume some new headphones and other audio devices with Fast Pair support at CES 2019 in January.
The expansion of Fast Pair could make NFC (Near Field Communication) a less useful feature for audiophiles since they’ll be able to pair their headphones and speakers with their devices running Android 6.0 or above with an ease.