Pairing Bluetooth devices such as headphones and smartwatches can be a laborious process. Messing around in your phone’s Settings menu is typically more work than it needs to be.
Thankfully, both Google and Apple have implemented systems that make this pairing process much more intuitive. In Google’s case, that means Google Fast Pair.
Here’s what it is and how it works.
What is Google Fast Pair?
First announced in October 2017, Google Fast Pair is a proprietary technology that makes the pairing process between Android devices and Bluetooth peripherals much quicker and more intuitive.
It was initially launched alongside the Google Pixel Buds as a means of connecting compatible audio devices to your Android smartphone. However, Google has been working to expand its usefulness over the years, and it can now be used to pair your phone to speakers, car kits, mice, keyboards, and more.
Fast Paired peripherals will be saved to your Google Account, so should stay linked to future Android devices when you switch to them.
In addition to easy linking, Google Fast Pair supplies live battery information on connected devices. From Android 10 onwards, it’s possible to examine device details and customise their names and audio profiles, as well as to locate connected devices by triggering an audio cue and pinpointing their last recorded location.
How does Google Fast Pair work?
The Google Fast Pair Service (GFPS) uses your Android phone’s location and Bluetooth Low Energy to recognise local Bluetooth devices, then provide one-tap connectivity. It uses minimal battery life.
Place a Google Fast Pair-optimised Bluetooth device into pairing mode, and you should receive a prompt to connect to it on your Android device, as well as a picture of the device in question. Upon connecting, you may also receive a link to a related app.
What’s in store for Google Fast Pair in 2022?
Google Fast Pair is set to receive a major update in 2022 that will enable you to connect to smart home products in a similarly intuitive fashion through the Matter platform (a radio protocol that links up all the biggest smart home brands), as well as adding Chromebooks and Android TVs to the list of compatible devices.
Which devices support Google Fast Pair?
At a basic level, any Android device that runs Android 6.0 or later should be able to utilise Google Fast Pair to link up to Bluetooth devices. Those with Android 10 and later can customise device names and locate lost linked devices.
On the other end of the equation, various Bluetooth devices from Samsung, Microsoft, Sony, JBL OnePlus, Realme, Jabra, Bose, B&O, Fitbit, and Microsoft support Google Fast Pair, or will do in future.
Google has also released a list of Bluetooth chipsets that are compatible with Google Fast Pair over on its Developers website.