Pairing Android devices with Bluetooth gadgets will get easier with a new system that’s reminiscent of Apple Airpod pairing. Unfortunately it will only work with a limited range of gadgets for now.
In theory at least, Fast Pair won’t involve pressing multiple buttons on both your phone or tablet and your gadget. Instead, as long as the phone or tablet is in pairing mode, it will scan automatically for devices and then display a “high priority” notification if it finds anything.
The notification will have the name of the gadget and an image (when available) to make sure you’ve got the right gadget. You’ll then just have to tap once to start the pairing. Once the pairing is complete, you’ll get a second notification confirming the success, along with a download link for the gadget’s companion app if one exists.
The feature will be rolled out to Android devices, with backwards compatibility to Android 6.0 (Marshmallow), though the device will need to be running Google Play Services 11.7 or later. The big downside is that Fast Pair compatibility has to be built into the gadget as well; only a few gadgets support it already, including Google Pixel Buds, but Google is inviting manufacturers to contact it to find how to add the technology.