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Android "Fast Pair" takes on Apple's AirPods

Google introduces Fast Pair for quick pairing with Bluetooth headphones. (Source: Google)
Google introduces Fast Pair for quick pairing with Bluetooth headphones. (Source: Google)
Google has introduced Fast Pair for Android devices. It brings a far easier way of pairing Bluetooth headphones that is very similar to what Apple is doing with its AirPods for iPhone.
Sanjiv Sathiah,
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Google has announced Fast Pair for Android devices that introduces a low hassle way to pair Bluetooth headphones without mucking around in your device’s settings. It is, unsurprisingly, very similar to the way that Apple's fast hassle-free way of pairing its AirPods works with compatible iPhones. The new pairing feature will work on devices running Google Play services 11.7+ on devices running Android Marshmallow (Android 6.0) or later.

Here’s what the Fast Pair flow looks like:

  • Turn on a Fast Pair-enabled device and put it in pairing mode. (Android scans for BLE broadcasts in close proximity of the user's phone and discovers a Fast Pair packet (provided Bluetooth and Location is turned on. This packet is sent to our servers to get back the device's product image, product name and companion app (if there is one)).
  • The user receives a high priority notification asking them to "Tap to pair" to the device. The notification contains the product name and image.
  • When the user taps on the notification, we use classic Bluetooth to establish a connection.
  • A success notification is shown which contains a link to download the companion app (if there is one).

The Fast Pair feature uses the BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) specification and currently works with Google’s own Pixel Buds, Libratone’s Q Adapt On-Ear with support for the Plantronics Voyager 8200 coming soon.

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Sanjiv Sathiah
Sanjiv Sathiah - Senior Tech Writer - 1259 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2017
I have been writing about consumer technology over the past ten years, previously with the former MacNN and Electronista, and now Notebookcheck since 2017. My first computer was an Apple ][c and this sparked a passion for Apple, but also technology in general. In the past decade, I’ve become increasingly platform agnostic and love to get my hands on and explore as much technology as I can get my hand on. Whether it is Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Nintendo, Xbox, or PlayStation, each has plenty to offer and has given me great joy exploring them all. I was drawn to writing about tech because I love learning about the latest devices and also sharing whatever insights my experience can bring to the site and its readership.
contact me via: @t3mporarybl1p
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2017 11 > Android "Fast Pair" takes on Apple's AirPods
Sanjiv Sathiah, 2017-11- 1 (Update: 2017-11- 1)