Google has announced that it is expanding Fast Pair technology beyond Android smartphones to TVs and smart home devices. In a blog post, the company notes that Chromebook would first receive the support with Fast Pair-enabled headphones in the coming weeks. The technology essentially enables users to set up a connection between earphones/ earbuds with “a single click.” It is similar to how Apple integrates Apple AirPods with iPhones, Macs, iPads, and Apple TV. Users will get to see a pop-up on the screen when they turn on the headphones, through which they can establish the connection. The announcement was made on the sidelines of CES 2022 that Google could not attend “due to concerns over COVID-19.”
ALSO READ: Google Quietly Updated The Interface for Pairing Earbuds, Now Look Like iOS and AirPods UI
In the blog post, Google further notes, “If you get a new Chromebook later this year, you can use your Android phone to quickly set it up and get immediate access to all of the information you’ve already saved, like your Google login and your Wi-Fi password.” The Fast Pair feature will work with Matter-made smart-home devices not just by Google but other brands as well. Matter is described as an open and universal smart-home protocol that helps users to set up smart home devices with smartphones seamlessly.
Google is working with Acer, HP and Intel to bring Fast Pair experience between phones and PCs. It will enable users to quickly set up Bluetooth accessories, sync text messages and share files with Nearby Share.
Unlock Chromebooks, Android tablets with Wear OS Watches
The software giant also announced that it is making Android devices more intuitive and integrated. Soon, users will be able to unlock their Chromebooks with their Wear OS-enabled smartwatches. It may also potentially unlock other features such as unlocking phones while wearing a face mask. For instance, Apple Watch users can unlock iPhones with their smartwatch since the face ID has limitations with face masks. Users do not need to do anything from their end as the two devices communicate with each other automatically. Additionally, Samsung and Pixel phone users will be able to start or unlock compatible cars such as BMW vehicles. The feature uses Ultra-Wideband (UWB) technology that is integrated on select premium phones like Samsung’s Galaxy S21 Plus, Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G, and Galaxy Z Fold 3 5G.
Google’s Another Take on Apple
Taking a cue from Apple, Google is further working on a technology for Bluetooth-enabled headphones to make the listening and calling experience seamless. The company explains in the post, “If you’re wearing headphones to watch a movie on your Android tablet and you receive a phone call, the movie will pause and the headphone audio will automatically switch to your Android phone and then switch back to the movie when you’re done.”
It appears Google-made Pixel Buds will receive Spatial audio support that builds on Dolby Atmos to offer a 3D sound experience. These features will be available in the next few months on supported headphones, though the company did not specify headphone models. Google is working with brands like Bose to integrate Chromecast support.
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