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Google’s Fast Pair headphones to get auto-switching just like AirPods

Google is expanding the capabilities of its Fast Pair audio functionality to help them behave more like Apple’s AirPods.

The company is working on a new Bluetooth-based tech that will enable auto switching between Android phones and tablets, Google Chromebook laptops and even some Windows PCs.

In a blog post Google says: “your devices should instinctively know which of them you want to use and when,” so future Bluetooth headphones will automatically switch the audio to the device you’re listening on.

“So if you’re wearing headphones to watch a movie on your Android tablet and you receive a phone call, the movie will pause and the headphone audio will automatically switch to your Android phone and then switch back to the movie when you’re done,” Google says. You can see how it’ll work below.

As yet no headphones support the proprietary auto switching tech Google is working on, but you have to assume the next-generation Google Pixel Buds will be first in line.

Elsewhere, full support for Spatial Audio support is coming to supported headphones in the next few months, Google says, thanks to the addition of head tracking capabilities.

“Spatial audio on your headsets will make you feel like you’re really there by adapting the sound based on your head movements,” Google says in a new blog, “positioning the audio in the space all around you.”

In a few weeks, current Fast Pair-enabled headphones will automatically be detected and paired with a Chromebook in a single click. Support for headphones is also coming to Google TV and Android TV OS. The company is also leveraging the new Matter universal smart home protocol will enable Fast Pair to quickly set up new devices on a smart home network, while Fast Pair will also help you set up a new Chromebook with all of your accounts and Wi-Fi passwords, etc..

Google was supposed to be at CES 2022 in person, but was one of the many high-profile withdrawals in the weeks leading up to the event.

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