Google Fast Pair inches closer to an official release on Chromebooks

Google Pixel Buds A Series Review
Google Pixel Buds A Series Review (Image credit: Daniel Bader / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google Fast Pair was spotted in the latest Chromium Gerrit Commit.
  • Fast Pair makes it easier to pair supported Bluetooth headphones with devices.
  • The feature is not yet available for testing, as it has not made its way to the Canary build.

Announced in 2017, Google Fast Pair offers a swift and easy way to pair some of the best wireless earbuds the best Android phones. And thanks to a new Chromium Gerrit commit (via 9to5Google), this feature could be in a future Chrome OS release.

According to the commit, Fast Pair will first arrive via the chrome://flags menu, which will need to be enabled once added to Chrome OS. Here's Google's description of what this flag will offer:

Enables Google Fast Pair service which uses BLE to discover supported nearby Bluetooth devices and surfaces a notification for quick pairing. Use along with #bluetooth-advertisement-monitoring to allow background scanning.

Once enabled, you can open up the charging case for your favorite earbuds, like the Pixel Buds A-Series, and a prompt will appear on your Chromebook. Since it's not available via the Chrome Canary build just yet, we aren't sure what the prompt may look like on Chrome OS. But if it's anything like what's currently available on Android phones, then the process will likely be just as painless.

Before Fast Pair was introduced, the process for pairing Bluetooth headphones with your Android phone was a cumbersome task. You would need to dive into the Settings app, wait for the headphones to appear in the list of Bluetooth devices, then select them and wait for the pairing to complete. Today, the process is much easier, as you'll simply receive a prompt on your phone that offers a one-tap solution for pairing.

At this point, you might find yourself wondering about what headphones are compatible with Fast Pair? Unfortunately, there doesn't appear to be a comprehensive list of compatible headphones available. However, we do know that other than Google's Pixel Buds, the feature can be found with the Sony WF-1000XM4, Bose QC 35 II, OnePlus Buds Z, and others. Google is continuing to work with different headphone makers to bring this functionality to more and more headphones as Fast Pair becomes an expected feature.

This may not seem like a big deal for some, but for those who aren't a fan of diving into the Settings just to pair some headphones, Fast Pair will get rid of those headaches.

Andrew Myrick
Senior Editor - Chromebooks and tablets

Andrew Myrick is a Senior Editor at Android Central. He enjoys everything to do with technology, including tablets, smartphones, and everything in between. Perhaps his favorite past-time is collecting different headphones, even if they all end up in the same drawer.