Google is rolling out location tracking, battery notifications, and new settings for Fast Pair devices
Back in 2017, Google announced Fast Pair, a feature aimed at improving the first-time pairing experience for Bluetooth accessories. The first Bluetooth accessory to support Fast Pair was the first-generation Google Pixel Buds that debuted alongside the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. Since then, dozens of other Bluetooth accessories from many different manufacturers have added support for Fast Pair. The latest device to support Fast Pair is the second-generation, truly wireless Google Pixel Buds that was announced earlier today. Alongside this product release, Google also announced that a few new Fast Pair features are coming to select Bluetooth accessories.
At Google I/O 2019 last year, Google quietly announced that Fast Pair will be getting a handful of useful new features. The first feature they mentioned, “Find My Accessories,” will let users ping the last known location of their Bluetooth accessories in the “Find My Device” app. Next, Google stated that users will receive a notification on their phone showing the battery level of their paired accessory whenever they open or close the charging case. Finally, Google showed off a revamped Bluetooth settings page where users will be able to control all of the settings supported on a Fast Pair device so users won’t have to open a dedicated app just for that accessory.
Since this early announcement at last year’s I/O developer conference, we didn’t know when these new features would roll out, although we’ve caught glimpses of them in APK teardowns in the last few months. Today, however, Google finally announced the rollout of most of these features.
Find My Accessory
If your Bluetooth earphones or headphones are connected to your phone but you don’t know where they are, you can now locate them by ringing them in settings. For true wireless earbuds, you can ring the left and right earbuds independently. In a future update coming in the next few months, you’ll be able to locate your lost accessories even if they aren’t connected to your phone through the Find My Device app. You’ll need to have Location History enabled, though.
Next, Google announced that you’ll receive a phone notification about the battery level of each component (right earbud, left earbud, and, if supported, the case) when you open the case of your truly wireless earbuds. You’ll also be notified when the earbuds and case battery levels are low.
Revamped Device Details Page
If you have a device running Android 10+ and a select Fast Pair-supported Bluetooth accessory, you’ll be able to adjust all the settings for the accessory from the Bluetooth device details page. Currently, only the Harman Kardon FLY and new Google Pixel Buds support showing these additional settings in the device details page. Bluetooth accessory makers are encouraged to surface these settings in the device details page by using the Slices API to integrate options from their dedicated apps.
Finally, Google announced that your accessory name will include your first name after it pairs to your phone over Bluetooth. Renaming Bluetooth devices is already possible, but this automates a step that many users never bother to do.
These features, save for the Find My Device integration, are rolling out now for supported Fast Pair Bluetooth accessories. Fast Pair is a part of Google Play Services and is supported on Android versions 6.0+.
Fast Pair is making your bluetooth experience easier than ever. Enjoy new features that can help you locate misplaced earbuds and more. Rolling out on #Android: https://t.co/P8EtAdTiBc pic.twitter.com/U3V4CpN4il
— Android (@Android) April 27, 2020