After recently hinting the tech was just about ready to rock, Google has today confirmed it is coming today as part of the new operating system update that’ll reach Chromebook owners over the next few days.
The technology makes it much easier to initially pair headphones and other Bluetooth devices, and then seamlessly switch between the connected phone, notebook, tablet or TV. In many ways it rivals what Apple has been able to achieve with its AirPods connectivity, especially now the Chromebook is involved.
According to the support post announcing the progression to the ‘stable channel’ this appears to be the only new feature arriving with ChromeOS 111.
Google writes: “Fast Pair offers a streamlined pairing experience for compatible Bluetooth accessories, including hearables and wearables, and the ability to easily move those devices between Fast Pair enabled platforms that share the same Google account.
“Make sure your Chromebook’s Bluetooth is enabled, then when you turn on a Bluetooth device your Chromebook will automatically ask if you would like to pair the device. Simply click ‘connect’ and your device will be connected. Creating a one click process to pair your Bluetooth devices.”
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Original story from February 27 continues below…
Announced to coincide with MWC 2023 currently ongoing in Barcelona, the addition will make it far easier to hook headphones up to Chromebooks and switch between devices seamlessly.
It’s good news for people who own Android phones and Chromebooks as headphones previously set up with Fast Pair in Android will soon automatically be detected by their Chromebook. However, the addition may not be imminent yet as Google’s blog post today only promises it will arrive “soon.”
Google writes: “Soon Fast Pair connects new Bluetooth headphones to your Chromebook with just one tap. And if you’ve already set up your headphones with an Android phone, your Chromebook will automatically connect them too.”
The technology takes a more proactive role in connecting Bluetooth accessories, rather than you having to rummage through the settings menus, discovering the headphones and then pairing them. Not to mention avoiding the inconvenience of disconnecting from another device first.
Instead, users receive a pop-up on their devices asking if they’d like to pair the compatible accessory even if it’s connected elsewhere. The tech is also capable of monitoring the location and battery life of paired items.
Apple used its version of the technology to great effect with its AirPods line and Google’s interpretation has been providing the same seamless connectivity on Android phones for a while now.
However, the glory of AirPods is the seamless switching between devices like the iPhone and the Mac. To complete the circle for Google, Chromebooks need to be in the mix.
Why this has taken so long is anyone’s guess. As 9to5Google reports, the feature has been in the works as fair back as 2018. Google originally announced Fast Pair for Chromebooks in January 2022. A launch had initially been planned for the summer of 2022, but wasn’t part of a ChromeOS update.