Earlier this month, Google released a Fast Pair Validator app on the Play Store to help Bluetooth manufacturers support Android’s seamless Bluetooth pairing solution. Announced last year, Google is now adding device syncing for accessories and Chromebook support in 2019.
The Fast Pair spec is a part of Google Play services and takes advantage of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) for advertising and discovery, while classic Bluetooth is still used for pairing. Users see a high priority notification that features a picture of the Bluetooth device to begin the process.
Moving forward, Google is improving the multi-device experience by pairing Bluetooth accessories to phones and tablets signed into the same Google Account. Fast Pair “will connect accessories to a user’s current and future Android phones.”
This syncing should also greatly improve the experience of setting up a new phone, with Android 6.0+ still the minimum OS requirement. Meanwhile, Fast Pair will support Chromebooks starting next year. Given that devices like the Pixel Slate do not feature a headphone jack, Bluetooth is the most convenient way to listen to audio.
Meanwhile, in the coming months, more Fast Pair compatible devices will be available. Google has been working “closely with dozens of manufacturers,” including prominent brands like Bose and Anker. Announcements at CES 2019 in January seem likely.
The company is also working with the likes of Qualcomm to add Fast Pair support to SDKs and reduce engineering effort.
We also want to make it easy for manufacturers to ship compatible products with minimal additional engineering effort. We collaborated with industry leading Bluetooth audio companies such as Airoha Technology Corp., BES and Qualcomm Technologies International, Ltd. (QTIL) to add native Fast Pair support to their software development kits.