Google Pixel Buds A will reportedly lose some features to keep costs down

Google Pixel Buds 2020
Google Pixel Buds 2020 (Image credit: Andrew Martonik / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • The upcoming Pixel Buds A may lose the volume swiping gestures.
  • Losing swiping controls may be a result of cost-saving measures for cheaper earbuds.
  • The Pixel Buds A are expected to launch relatively soon.

There's been some talk of Google's rumored Pixel Buds A potentially losing a feature. The wireless earbuds were first hinted at last month, and since then, more information has been slowly pouring out about what we might expect. The latest tidbit suggests that Google might be ditching a few features on the new model.

While looking into the latest version of the Pixel Buds app, 9to5Google found references to a "type_two" model, which is likely the Pixel Buds A. Given that references to "type_one" are likely referring to the Google Pixel Buds (2020), it can be inferred that the upcoming model is just an offshoot of last year's buds. That would make sense since these buds are expected to be cheaper variants to compete with the best cheap wireless earbuds. That also means compromises will be made.

Source: Andrew Martonik / Android Central Here you can see the current model with the charging indicator on the inside. (Image credit: Source: Andrew Martonik / Android Central)

Firstly, 9to5Google found that the type "type_two" model would not have an internal charging indicator like the current Pixel Buds. If this is the case, it could be that the external indicator might pull double-duty for both the case and the buds. Additionally, the code for the swiping gestures "swipe_forward" or "swipe_backward" is also missing, which may indicate that Google is doing away with swiping volume controls.

There are a few reasons that Google may have opted to omit this from its upcoming Pixel Buds. It could be more cost-effective not to have these types of gestures on the buds, or perhaps Google just decided to go about it another way. Some of the best wireless earbuds like the Jabra Elite 75t Active or the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro use tap-and-hold to raise or lower the volume, so it may not be a dealbreaker.

The upcoming Pixel Buds A are expected to launch at next month's Google I/O 2021, although that could always change since we may not see a Google Pixel 5a or the rumored Google Pixel Watch until later this year.

Derrek Lee
Managing Editor

Derrek is the managing editor of Android Central, helping to guide the site's editorial content and direction to reach and resonate with readers, old and new, who are just as passionate about tech as we are. He's been obsessed with mobile technology since he was 12, when he discovered the Nokia N90, and his love of flip phones and new form factors continues to this day. As a fitness enthusiast, he has always been curious about the intersection of tech and fitness. When he's not working, he's probably working out.