Fast Pair coming to Wear OS for fast headphone pairing

Fast Pair started as Google’s way to quickly connect Bluetooth headphones to Android phones and will soon do the same on Chrome OS. Google alluded today that Fast Pair is coming to Wear OS in what could be preparation for the Pixel Watch and Pixel Buds Pro.

Fast Pair on Wear OS

Google today updated the Google System Updates changelog with the following entry under the “Device Connections” section:

[Wear OS] Fast Pair on Wear OS to allows previously paired headphones to be discovered and connected to wearables.[5]

— [5] Available through Google Play services v22.24 updated on 06/24/2022.

The described functionality is Fast Pair’s bread and butter, which saves paired headphones to your Google Account for easy access on other devices via a system-level notification. It’s also used by Fitbit devices on initial set-up, while doing anything with Bluetooth on a small wearable is cumbersome and Fast Pair is a welcome addition.

This update to Google Play services is not yet widely rolled out on watches we checked today. It’s not clear what UI Fast Pair on Wear OS will take, while Google has not explicitly announced the availability of Fast Pair on Wear OS. The closest was at CES 2022 in January when Google described “audio connectivity with wearables” as an existing Fast Pair functionality:

We’re continuing our work with partners to further extend Fast Pair’s functionality beyond audio connectivity with wearables, headphones, speakers and cars and extending it to TVs and smart home devices, so you can instantly start using all the devices in your life.

Fast Pair is coming to Chrome OS in the coming weeks, while it has also been announced for Android/Google TV, select cars. and for use in pairing Matter smart home devices.

Pixel Watch prep

Meanwhile, it’s possible that Fast Pair on Wear OS is meant for the Pixel Watch. The product page for the Pixel Buds Pro says you can “easily go from music on your phone to video calls on your laptop.” The multipoint connectivity for the headphones coming next month just describes “phone to laptop” switching. 

However, the Pixel Watch page describes Fast Pair’s discovery and connectivity features mentioned by Play services today. 

With Fast Pair, it’s quick and easy to connect your earbuds, watch, and phone with each other. Pixel Buds Pro also make it simple by automatically switching audio between watches, phones and laptops.

In theory, Fast Pair should not be limited to the Pixel Watch and something all Wear OS devices benefit from whenever it launches.

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