Fast Pair Brings One Of Apple’s Best AirPod Features To Android

The seamless pairing process that Apple's AirPods can do with iPhones is coming to Android.

On Tuesday, Google announced in a blog post that it's bringing a feature called Fast Pair to Androids, that'll allow devices to easily discover and pair with compatible devices nearby.

That means eventually, you won't need to go through the traditional Bluetooth pairing steps of digging through your settings, ensuring your device is discoverable, punching in pairing codes, and so on.

Just bring a Fast Pair device near your phone, and you'll get a prompt to say it's been detected. Tap the drop-down and it'll start the pairing.

Google says the feature works by having the pairing device constantly broadcast a signal, which the phone picks up. After the user confirms that they want the pairing to be done, a regular Bluetooth connection is made.

It'll work on handsets running Android 6.0 Marshmallow or above, You’ll also need to update Google Play services to Version 11.7+.

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Fast Pair not only requires an updated version of Android, but a compatible pair of headphones to operate properly. According to Google, their own translation-friendly Pixel Buds, along with the on-ear Libratone Q-Adapt headphones support Fast Pair.

As someone who has used Fast Pair with the aforementioned Libratone headphones and the Google Pixel 2 XL, the pairing experience was definitely a more simple endeavour compared to pairing traditional Bluetooth headphones. You turn them on, hold the pair button, and watch the headphones, complete with an icon and description, pop up in your notification bar. It’s still a bit buggy, however, and occasionally attempts to pair with another set of Bluetooth headphones, requiring you to toggle Bluetooth off and on. Still, it gets the hard part of the job done.

Support for more devices, like the Plantronics Voyager 8200 series of wireless headsets, is on the way, and Google’s urging manufacturers to get on board, asking them to fill out a form requesting more information about the feature.
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