Sometimes it’s the little things that are the most frustrating, and you can say that about Android quite a lot, unfortunately. One of those issues which users have complained about for years is the lack of a Bluetooth battery indicator in the OS, but it seems that Google is finally delivering on that feature in a future version of the OS.
Nomad case for Pixel 3
So first things first, what exactly does this feature do? In short, it tells you the current battery status of your connected Bluetooth accessory. The functionality to do this has long been a part of the Bluetooth standard, Google just hasn’t taken advantage of it in stock Android. Meanwhile, Apple has long implemented this in iOS, and several Android OEMs including Samsung and LG have also added it to their Android skins.
Why Google has avoided this for so long is beyond my understanding, but thankfully, the company seems to be finally coming to its senses. As discovered by XDA Developers, it seems as though Google is preparing to add this long-awaited feature to Android in an upcoming update to the OS. Before you get too excited, sadly, it doesn’t seem like the initial Android O release will include this.
XDA discovered a handful of new commits within AOSP which shows that Google is working with some new Bluetooth APIs which revolve around the ability to pull battery information from the connected device. Unlike clunky third-party versions of this functionality, it seems as though Google’s implementation of this feature will include the ability to show battery percentage from 0-100%. That also gives developers the option to show specific percentages in areas outside of the status bar, perhaps a homescreen widget or notification.
It’s great to see that Google is finally adding this functionality to Android, as it will be good for everyone. The Pixel family gets a welcome new feature, and Android OEMs don’t have to work as hard to implement it. It’s a win-win, but obviously, it’s going to be a bit before we see it live. Android O DP4 is pretty much what we’ll be seeing in the final version of Android O, and this feature isn’t available. Rather, it seems like this one is going to land in Android 8.1 or perhaps 9.0.