Android Fast Pair makes Bluetooth pairing easier and faster


Google has announced a new feature for Android devices that makes discovery & pairing of Bluetooth devices easy: Fast Pair. Apple also has a similar feature to connect iPhone and Mac with the Airpods.

Fast Pair utilizes BLE (Bluetooth Low energy), and your Android device's location to automatcally discover Bluetooth device nearby, and connect with them on a single tap. It uses classic Bluetooth for pairing, and also shows the image of the device that you want to connect to.

The feature is available on all Android devices running Google Play services 11.7+ with compatibility back to Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

Here's how Fast Pair works
  1. 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).
  2. The user receives a high priority notification asking them to "Tap to pair" to the device. The notification contains the product name and image.
  3. When the user taps on the notification, we use classic Bluetooth to establish a connection.
  4. A success notification is shown which contains a link to download the companion app (if there is one).
"Imagine doing all of this without ever fumbling with Bluetooth settings. Users get a seamless and secure pairing experience and confidence that they're connecting to the right product." Google notes in a blog post.

For now, the supported headphones are Google’s Pixel Buds, Libratone’s Q Adapt On-Ear, and Plantronics Voyager 8200-series wireless headsets.

Fast Pair feature is now rolling out to compatible devices, with the latest version of Google Play Services (v.11.7).

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