Google Fast Pair has been a great way to connect to bluetooth headphones like the Pixel Buds since it was introduced in 2017. Google though has been building software for a range of products ever since, and now we’re going to be getting Fast Pair for a whole heap of new products.
Google will be bringing Fast Pair to a range of new devices including TVs, Speakers, Wearables and even cars, TVs and smart home devices over the next year. This will enable you to do things like pair headphones to your Google TV or Android TV OS device at home or use Fast Pair to quickly connect new Matter-enabled smart home devices to your network.
In the near future Google will be bringing Fast Pair to Chromebooks letting you quickly pair headphones, but later in the year you’ll be able to sync your Google login, Wi-Fi Password and other Google account information to a new Chromebook by pairing your Android phone to it. Chromebook users will also be able to access chat apps on their phone, without re-installing them, all from the Phone Hub, which is also getting access to your phones Camera Roll.
It’s all part of a multi-device strategy which will see Google supporting more devices with more features. Features like Chromecast built-in, which will see Bose include the feature in all smart speakers and soundbars in the next few months.
Google will also be expanding Wear OS support to unlock your Chromebook and Android phone based on proximity – you can already do this with your phone, but will now do it with your watch.
They’re also announcing expanded support for wireless car-keys on phones with Ultra Wide-Band (UWB) like Samsung and Pixel phones. Later this year you will be able to use your BMW key based on proximity, so you never have to take your phone out of your pocket. You’ll also be able share an electronic key with friends and family.
Google is also looking at multi-device usage functionality, and having devices know which device is appropriate for use at any given time. To achieve this, Google is building a technology for Bluetooth-enabled headphones that means they will automatically switch the audio to whatever device you’re listening to. This means you’ll automatically switch to an incoming phone call on your Android phone if you’re watching something on your Chromebook, then back again once you’re finished.
Finally, Google is playing nicer with Windows these days. First they announced that Google Play Games is coming to Windows at the Game Awards late last year, now they’re announcing Fast Pair options for Windows PCs.
Starting later this year, Google says you’ll be able to connect your Android phone to your Windows PC with Fast Pair, letting you quickly set up Bluetooth accessories, sync text messages and share files with Nearby Share. Google is working with Acer, HP and Intel on this one and will bring the feature to select Windows PCs later this year.
Google Fast Pair is amazingly good – as fast as connecting iPods for iOS users. It’s instant, and having that option for smart home devices alone would be phenomenal. Adding it to Google TV and Chromebooks would be hugely beneficial as well, so I can’t wait to see it in action. It’s only January, so these features won’t be launching immediately, but we’ll be following up when they do.
EFTM’s coverage of CES 2022 is supported by Intel, Vodafone, LG, Samsung and Hisense