Google details new Fast Pair features, coming first to the Pixel Buds

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

What you need to know

  • Google has updated Android's Fast Pair with new features as it launches new true wireless earbuds.
  • These include find my device, battery notifications, and personalization updates.
  • The new Fast Pair features will be enabled on the Pixel Buds first, with other devices receiving them in the coming months.

Google just launched the Pixel Buds 2 today, and they're very good — albeit expensive true wireless earbuds. As part of that launch, it's also improving Android's Fast Pair (think: super Bluetooth).

Here's what's new with today's update:

  • Find my device: Lose your earbuds? You'll now be able to call them with Google's "find device" setting. Later the company will add a new option that lets you check their last known location if you keep Location History enabled. it won't help if you've lost it in your house and need a precise location (that's what the ringing is for), but it'll be useful otherwise.
  • Battery notifications: Fast Pair will now surface the battery levels of each individual earbud upon opening the carry case for supported devices. It'll also notify you if the case's charge itself is running low so you can top up at your leisure and not be caught unawares.
  • Personalisation: For easy identification, Fast Pair will now automatically name your accessory with your first name. For instance, if I had a pair of Pixel Buds and paired it with my Pixel, Fast Pair would name it "Michael's Pixel Buds." Google is also revamping the settings page for Fast Pair devices, surfacing more details and controls for compatible earbuds.

Google says that these features are rolling out first to the Google Pixel Buds 2 as well as the Harmon Kardon FLY. Over time, they'll reach more devices.

Fast Pair isn't an intrinsically glamorous feature-set, nor is it an especially flashy one. Yet, for those who use true wireless earbuds on a day to day basis, these updates will be very visible once they land.

A closer look at Google's Fast Pair technology: How it builds on Bluetooth

Michael Allison