Fast Pair Coming to Android Phones

When Apple took the headphone jack off their iPhones, they created fast pairing for those silly AirPods. While Google is starting to look at device without headphone jacks, they are looking into doing their own fast pairing. Google is releasing their own Fast Pair to Android devices running Android 6.0 and above.

The only other requirement is that you need to be running Google Play services 11.7+. According to their blog, Google says you can test it out with Google Pixel Buds or Libratone’s Q Adapt On-Ear. Fast Pair will use BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) for advertising and discovery. However, it will use classic Bluetooth for actual pairing. Here is how it works:

  1. Turn on a Fast Pair-enabled device and put it in pairing mode.
    • Android scans for BLE broadcasts in close proximity of the user’s phone and discovers a Fast Pair packet (provided Bluetooth and Location is turned on).
    • This packet is sent to our servers to get back the device’s product image, product name and companion app (if there is one).
  2. The user receives a high priority notification asking them to “Tap to pair” to the device. The notification contains the product name and image.
  3. When the user taps on the notification, we use classic Bluetooth to establish a connection.
  4. A success notification is shown which contains a link to download the companion app (if there is one).

This will be easier than traditional Bluetooth connect. Allowing for one-touch connection would make things easier for wireless headphones and speakers. The latest version of Google Play Services (11.7) will be rolling out over the coming days and weeks.

 

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