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Google announces Fast Pair feature to make Bluetooth pairing easier for Android

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The Fast Pair feature uses Bluetooth Low Energy and your smartphone’s location to discover and connect to Bluetooth devices in close proximity.

Google has announced a new feature that will make the pairing process of some Bluetooth devices easier with your smartphone. The Fast Pair is a “hassle-free” process for pairing Bluetooth devices on all supported Android devices running Google Play services 11.7+, with compatibility going back to Android 6.0 Marshmallow, Google said in its blog post.

The Fast Pair technology makes use of BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) for scanning and discovering nearby Bluetooth devices. It uses classic Bluetooth for pairing. Google has said that the feature will work with Fast Pair enabled devices and currently the company’s Pixel Buds and the Libratone Q Adapt On-Ear headset support the technology. The company said that the upcoming Plantronics Voyager 8200 series wireless headsets will also come with the Fast Pair feature.

While using the Fast Pair mode, the Android device scans for BLE broadcasts in the phone’s close proximity and discovers a Fast Pair packet. Location and Bluetooth needs to be turned on on the phone for Fast Pair to work. The Packet is then sent to Google’s server and the device’s product image, name and companion app (if there is one) are retrieved. The user then receives a high priority notification displaying the product name and its image, asking them to “Tap to pair” to the device.

Tapping on the notifications uses classic Bluetooth to pair with the device and on successful pairing, a link to download the companion app is displayed if the Bluetooth device has one. The process is aimed at making Bluetooth pairing with devices a more seamless experience. In order to have Fast Pair on more devices, Google is asking Bluetooth device manufacturers to adopt the feature.