The Samsung Galaxy Buds+ can now easily switch between devices
The Samsung Galaxy Buds+ are Samsung’s current flagship TWS solution, and they’ve been pretty successful for the most part. Samsung has even gone ahead and released them in new color variants like Aura Red, Aura Blue, and the company is scheduled to also release a purple BTS Edition. Even though the earbuds themselves are pretty good, there has been some confusion on how they handle connection to multiple devices. At launch, Samsung had mentioned “multi-point” (multi-device) support for devices using Bluetooth 5.0, but this was misleading as the feature was restricted to only Galaxy phones with the Samsung SmartThings app installed. Fortunately, the situation is now improving for the better, as the Samsung Galaxy Buds+ can now seamlessly switch between devices.
Samsung Galaxy Buds+ Plugin v1.3.20061151 has begun rolling out, and it carries with it the update prompt for the R175XXU0ATF2 firmware update for the Galaxy Buds+. We spotted certain new strings related to seamless connections in the APK, and found that the feature described was already rolling out.
<string name="seamless_connection_desc">"You can switch your earbuds quickly to nearby devices without disconnecting them or turning on pairing mode. This works with any nearby device that's signed in to your Samsung account, even if it never paired with your earbuds before, and also with other devices if they've paired with your earbuds previously. In some rare cases, this may allow unknown devices to connect to your earbuds and control them. You can turn this off in settings."</string> <string name="settings_seamless_connection">Seamless earbud connection</string> <string name="settings_seamless_connection_desc">"Switch quickly to nearby devices without disconnecting your earbuds or turning on pairing mode. This works with any nearby device that's signed in to your Samsung account, even if it never paired with your earbuds before, and also with other devices if they've paired with your earbuds previously. In some rare cases, this may allow unknown devices to connect to your earbuds and control them."</string>
What is Seamless Connection on Samsung Galaxy Buds+?
To understand what this feature does, we need to take a step back and understand how the Buds+ connected to multiple devices before this update.
Previously, the Samsung Galaxy Buds+ could only perform a multi-device switch between two Samsung devices running Android 7.1.1 and newer, provided that the SmartThings app is installed on both the devices. SmartThings will enable the user to tap within the media panel on each device to move the Galaxy Buds+ connection between the two devices.
For non-Samsung phones, users must turn off the Bluetooth of the currently connected device (Device A), enter pairing mode on the Buds+ (tap once, and then tap plus hold) and then connect to the second device (Device B). To go back to Device A, you need to switch off Bluetooth on Device B and enter pairing mode on the Buds+ again, and so forth.
As one can imagine, this wasn’t very convenient.
With this new update, the switch between devices becomes convenient as you no longer need to switch off the Bluetooth on any of the devices, nor do you need to enter into pairing mode on the Buds+.
Presuming both the devices have been paired previously, you only need to select the pre-existing Buds+ connection on the device to connect and switch. So if you are connected to Device A, you need to open the Bluetooth connections page on Device B and select the Buds+. This will switch over your connection. To go back to Device A from Device B, simply open the Bluetooth connections page on Device A and select the Buds+ connection.
I tried this device switching between the Dell XPS 13 2in1 (7390) and the OnePlus 7 Pro, and the experience is much more convenient. It isn’t true “multi-point” connection wherein the Buds+ would switch over to the active audio source automatically. I wouldn’t also call it “seamless” since you do need to fiddle with source devices. But it certainly removes the pain of pairing again and again simply for switching between devices. Considering how good the Buds+ are for voice calls, having this functionality is really handy when jumping between devices.